May 6, 2009

Bomb squad called to McKenzie County

By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer

Things aren’t always what they seem, but in this day and age it seems that anything is possible. But could there really have been a pipe bomb in the Badlands?
Yes, there could have, which is what brought the Minot Police Department Bomb Squad to Watford City on April 29, 2009.
The McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a possible pipe bomb found on United States Forest Service land approximately 18 miles southeast of Watford City. As a result of the call, the Sheriff’s Department along with a North Dakota Game and Fish Department Law Enforcement Officer responded to the location and requested the assistance of the Minot Police Department Bomb Squad.
“The call came in from a couple of hunters who thought they had found a pipe bomb,” says Ron Rankin, McKenzie County sheriff. “The suspected pipe bomb ended up being a device that could not have caused harm to anyone.”
According to Rankin, when the Minot Police Department Bomb Squad X-rayed the suspected bomb they were not able to determine if it was a pipe bomb or not, so the device was then neutralized by the bomb squad before any further action was taken.
“The device was laid there as part of a hunting apparatus that was left behind,” comments Rankin. “It should not have been left there and we are looking into it further to see if we can find out who left it there.”
Although there was no bomb and the device was legal for hunting, the incident is still under investigation.
“There was no criminal activity, just a misunderstanding of what the device was,” adds Rankin. “If nothing else, this was a great training experience for McKenzie County.”