A 25-year old man who allegedly planned to blow up a Confederate statue in Houston, Texas has been arrested, authorities said Monday, as debate raged in the United States over what to do with the nation's Civil War-era symbols.
The officer "watched Schneck to be holding two little boxes with different things inside", including "what seemed, by all accounts, to be conduit tape and wires", a criminal protest says. When he was confronted by the park ranger, Schneck tried to drink the bottle that had the nitroglycerin but spit out the liquid and then poured it out on the ground.
Schneck received five years of probation after pleading guilty in 2014 to improperly storing explosive materials. The liquid turned out to be nitroglycerin, Abe Martinez, US Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, said Monday.
"In its undiluted form, [nitroglycerin] is one of the world's most powerful explosives", the statement said.
This is not Schneck's first brush with federal authorities over explosive materials.
Authorities have since been searching Schneck's home.
That's when the ranger noticed a timer and wires in the boxes, federal prosecutors say.More news: 'Laggard' Ford announces line of fully-electric vehicles for Chinese market
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"When asked by Curtis if he wanted to harm the statue, Schneck responded that he did, and that he (Schneck) did not 'like that guy, '" the complaint said.
One of the tubes contained nitgroglycerin and hexamethylene triperoxide diamine.
Explosives found in the home where Schneck lives were detonated by bomb squad experts. Residents near the home had been evacuated as federal and city authorities search for evidence.
Schneck's legal counselor, Philip Hilder, declined to remark on Monday. In his motion, Hilder had written that Schneck "is not a risk to public safety" and that "his focus is no longer concentrated on high-risk activities".
Schneck had also paid $159,000 to the FBI and local agencies, to reimburse the cost of the investigation, and obtained a bachelor's degree in classics and chemistry from Austin College.
Schneck made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Mary Milly Monday morning.
The scribd.com tags for the document include: "Explosive Material", "Chemical Reactions", "Nitrogen", "Molecules", and "Alkene".
If convicted, he faces five to 40 years in federal prison with a $250,000 fine.