Two sailors charged with possession of explosive materials

Ledyard — Police arrested two sailors Sunday, saying they illegally had a variety of explosives materials.

John Mallow, 22, and Gary Braun, 19, both of the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, were charged with possession of explosives and possession of fireworks. Mallow was also charged with manufacture of bombs.

Police said there is no indication the pair had intended to hurt anyone with the explosives, but officers seized numerous materials that could be used to make bombs or fireworks.

Navy officials could not be reached to comment Tuesday.

There was no arrest warrant in either of the men’s court files, so it is uncertain what police said they intended to do with the materials.

According to an inventory of property seized, police found at an undisclosed Gales Ferry storage unit three volumes of a handbook, “Improvised Munitions.”

They also seized nearly 15 pounds of ammonium nitrate, more than 2 pounds of aluminum powder, potassium perchlorate, thermite, a scale, one roll of magnesium ribbon, hobby fuse and numerous fireworks.

According to Ledyard police, an officer on patrol late Saturday night saw a parked car in a hiking area off Avery Hill Road. The officer saw a small amount of explosives material.

A subsequent investigation led officers to the storage area in Gales Ferry. Troopers with the Connecticut State Police Emergency Services Unit responded and secured the materials.

All fireworks in Connecticut with the exception of sparklers are illegal and may not be sold, purchased or detonated unless they are being used in a state-regulated display.

Possession of explosives carries a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence or no more than 10 years. Manufacture of bombs carries a sentence that ranges from one to 20 years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine.

Both men appeared in New London Superior Court Monday and are out on a promise to appear in court. Their next court date is July 29.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service also assisted with the investigation.

i.larraneta@theday.com

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