FBI conducting controlled detonation in Beaumont

FBI conducting controlled detonation in Beaumont
Mark Avery Rudd
Tim Welty from Facebook.com

Update from the Eastern District of Texas, Feb. 9:

A 27-year-old Beaumont, Texas man has been arrested for federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas announced U.S. Attorney Alan R. Jackson.

Mark Avery Rudd was arrested today pursuant to a criminal complaint issued by the U.S. District Court charging him with possession of an unregistered destructive device.  Rudd appeared in federal court this afternoon on the charges.

According to information presented in court, on Feb. 8, 2018, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Rudd’s residence in the 4800 block of Belmont Street in Beaumont, Texas.  Inside the residence, investigators located a cooler in a hall closet containing two suspected destructive devices.  One was a 2-liter bottle filled with an unknown viscous liquid with wires extending from the top of the bottle. One of the wires connected to an unknown device inside the liquid.  Because the device could not be safely identified, it was destroyed in accordance with safety procedures.  The second device was safely removed from the container and dismantled by federal agents.  The second device consisted of a bottle of match heads, a friction plate or strike pad, and a pyrotechnic device with a fuse, which was duct taped to bottles of butane and capsaicin dog repellant.  Inside Rudd’s bedroom investigators found match sticks with the red ignition material removed, two pyrotechnic devices, electronic rocker switches, an electronic timer with wires connected to a sensor, assorted wires, and various diameters of pipe, and a ballistic vest with a neck protector attachment.   Investigators also found a 21-page notebook with detailed writing on explosives and explosives construction.  At the top of the first page was a handwritten note stating, “This is why you should not piss me off kabluey Chaos.”

If convicted, Rudd faces up to 10 years in federal prison.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Beaumont Police Department, Beaumont Fire Department, and Beaumont Emergency Medical Services.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher T. Tortorice.

It is important to note that a complaint, arrest, or indictment should not be considered as evidence of guilt and that all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


Update, 2:13 p.m., Feb. 8:

Sources say one man was arrested related to the FBI controlled detonation operation conducted earlier today at a Belmont Street address in Beaumont.

Timothy Carl Welty, 53, and Mark Avery Rudd, 27, were detained and questioned while a female at the residence was released. Welty and Rudd share an address at 4885 Belmont St. where the FBI, fire department, police department, other law enforcers and hazmat crews were on-site for the controlled detonation. After officers checked his phone and computer, it was determined Welty was not suspect in the investigation and he was released. Rudd was arrested. 

Officers had arrived earlier in the day to serve a warrant at the address. According to officers at the scene, hazmat, the FBI and fire department were then called. The FBI Bomb Unit was also called out to the scene.

A witness said Rudd had allegedly manufactured two makeshift bombs, which were safely detonated during the FBI operation.

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Feb. 8

The FBI Beaumont office is advising residents that a controlled detonation in the area of Dixie Dr. and Belmont St. in Beaumont should occur between 12:15 - 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, as part of an ongoing law enforcement operation. Residents should not be alarmed, the FBI office said in a release.

"Please avoid the area of Dixie Dr. and Belmont St.; College St. and Dixie Dr.; and Sunnyside Dr. and Belmont St," the release said. "The FBI, in partnership with the Beaumont Police Department and the Beaumont Fire Department, is working to mitigate any potential hazards to nearby residents.

"The safety of the public and law enforcement involved is our priority."

An officer on scene told The Examiner that controlled detonations are usually done when suspicious packages or potentially dangerous items are discovered.

Photo by Sharon Brooks