Ocala, Florida — A Florida Highway Patrol Trooper was patrolling the 6400 block of Northeast Jacksonville Road early Thursday morning when he spotted two juveniles in the parking lot of Oak Griner Baptist Church.
After making contact with the juveniles, later identified as Clayton Pinkerton and Zachary Sullivan — both age 16 — the trooper noticed that Sullivan had something tucked under his shirt.
Upon further inspection, the trooper determined that it was a plastic soda bottle containing firecrackers and the powder from inside firecrackers that had apparently been torn open and emptied into the bottle. Additionally, the boys had put a piece of rope through the cap of the bottle to act as a fuse. The powder used to make firecrackers is often referred to as flash powder or black powder. The powder can be purchased online and is not illegal in the U.S.
According to a press release, the Trooper then notified the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Murphy arrived and questioned the teens.
Pinkerton and Sullivan initially told the deputy that they had found the bottle on the side of the road. They later admitted to putting the firecrackers inside the bottle along with the makeshift fuse.
The teens said they did not intend to set off the homemade fireworks in the parking lot of the church, but did plan to set it off somewhere in the area.
Deputy Murphy arrested the teens and charged them with one count each of Possession of a Homemade Explosive Device.
The boys were released into the custody of their parents.
Ocala Post reached out to the State Attorney’s Office but had not heard back at the time this article was published.
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