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Man Arrested in Theft of Fertilizer

September 13, 2002

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GEORGETOWN, Texas (AP) _ A man was arrested in the theft of 30 pounds of potentially explosive fertilizer taken just before the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Authorities initially said 330 pounds of ammonium nitrate were missing but later determined only 30 pounds were stolen, said Williamson County Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Wendy Denson. She attributed the discrepancy to a bookkeeping error by the company, Austin Powder Co.

Investigators stressed there was no link to terrorism. Local, state and federal officials were assigned to the case because the explosives were reported missing two days before the Sept. 11 anniversary.

The 24-year-old suspect admitted stealing a 30-pound tube of ammonium nitrate and dumping the fertilizer at a landfill after media coverage of the theft made him nervous, Denson said. He was held on a state felony charge of burglary of a building.

Georgetown is in central Texas, about 30 miles north of Austin.


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