News & Events

Date and Time of Release: 9 July 08
Date and Time of Incident: 8 July 08 at approx. 4:32 pm
Subject: Explosive Devices Found and Detonated, Along Several Old Blasting Caps

8 July 08 at approx. 4:32 pm, officers from the Sonora Police Department responded to Truckenmiller Rd. for a report of suspicious looking wires protruding from a hole in a large rock. Upon officers’ arrival, they noticed an approx. 2 inch hole drilled into a very large rock, which is normally associated with blasting efforts. Protruding from the hole were two wires communally used with blasting caps.

The Bomb Unit from Calaveras County was requested and they responded to the scene to assist. The Bomb Unit confirmed the wires were from a blasting cap, but they couldn’t tell if the wires were still attached to a blasting cap, or how stable the cap would be if the wires were still attached to it.

The Bomb Unit decided to detonate the hole for safety reasons. The detonation resulted in an extremely large explosion. Following the detonation it was determined that the cap was in place and that the hole was filled with an explosive gel, which is commonly used in blasting.

It was determined the rock had been transported to the area from an old mine site and left in an open field. Then later, the rock was pushed up against a hillside during the late 1990’s. It is believed that the gel explosive had been placed in the rock at the mine site, but never detonated for some reason. Then it was transported un-detonated to the Truckenmiller Rd. location, where it sat undiscovered for an unknown length of time.

While officers were going door to door telling residents of the pending detonation, a resident said he had a few blasting caps in his garage he wanted to dispose of. The officer told the subject that they would return and speak with him after they finished with the above matter.

A little while later the subject walked up to them carrying a can. The Bomb Unit told the subject to stop and sit the can down and back away from it. A Bomb Unit member looked at the can and determined it contained numerous very old and very unstable copper blasting caps. Because of the blasting caps extremely sensitive condition, the Bomb Unit decided to detonate them in place also.

The Sonora Police Department would like to remind everyone if they find or possess any type of blasting devices, they should not handle it and call their local law enforcement agency so it can be properly disposed of. A large amount of the blasting items found in this area are from the late 1800′ and early 1900’s and are extremely unstable and should only be handled by trained professionals.

For more information contact Lt. Stinson at the Sonora Police Department, phone (209) 532-8141.