Maker of YouTube videos charged in explosives case
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A man who has a popular science-focused YouTube channel was charged in Utah with felony possession of an explosive device after complaints last summer about explosives being set off from his South Jordan home.
Jonathan Grant Thompson, who makes videos for the “King of Random ” YouTube channel that has 8.9 million subscribers, said Wednesday he’s upset and confused by the allegations, The Salt Lake Tribune reports .
Thompson, who wasn’t arrested, said police and fire officials were aware of his activities and watched his channel.
“It makes it seem like I am an irresponsible YouTuber who is blowing stuff up,” said Thompson, 37, of South Jordan.
The first complaint came in June about dry ice bombs detonated in Thompson’s backyard during the making of a video, according to charging documents filed Tuesday.
The second came in August about an explosion set off when a powdery substance was lit. Thompson said he believed it was a deconstructed firework.
Blake Nakamura, Salt Lake County chief deputy district attorney, said only exempt personnel such as police and military are allowed to have explosives. There is, however, an exemption for people using explosives as part of lawful business operations.
Thompson makes money on his YouTube channel and also has a website selling hats, shirts, rings and other merchandise.
Thompson has been making science experiment videos on YouTube since 2010, drawing more than 1.6 billion views. Some are about explosions, but others are about things like making a rope out of a soda bottle and a silicone mold of a chicken.
His most popular video shows how to make gummy candies that look like Lego bricks.
Thompson is set to make his initial court appearance on Feb. 21.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com