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Bomb suspects granted bonds

By Walter Geiger Judge Tommy Wilson set bonds in the amount of $25,000 for bomb suspects Seth Bennon Roberts and and Wesley Robert Peters Thursday morning in Lamar superior court. Roberts, 24, was in court for a scheduled bond hearing. Peters, 22, was not present. Assistant district attorney Scott Johnston explained the cases against Roberts and Peters were not ready to present to the grand jury which convened Monday. Georgia law requires bonds be set in most cases within 90 days. Capt. Todd Pippin, commander of the criminal investigations division of the Lamar sheriff’s office, testified briefly about the May 15 arrests of Roberts and Peters at their home at 170 Lamar County Line Road. Pippin said DNR ranger Keith Page went to the area after a report of a deer being shot out of season. While in the area, Page came across what appeared to be exploded pipe bomb devices. Pippin said a subsequent search of the home led to the discovery of two complete pipe bombs packed with nails and tacks and several other bombs that were not yet fully assembled but did have fuses affixed. There were also 31 firearms in the house and nearly two pounds of marijuana in a locked safe of the type used to store personal documents. Pippin said he found no plans to attack buildings or people but did discover a load-bearing vest with five 30-round magazines of .45 caliber ammunition and four 30-round magazines of .223 ammo. Several shotgun rounds were also affixed to the vest. Pippin said he also discovered two survival packs complete with first aid kits, fire starters and military issue MREs. Pippin testified Roberts told another officer he and Peters were making firecrackers and flares. Judge Wilson interjected he was concerned the explosives were packed with nails and tacks, making them, essentially, anti-personnel devices. Roberts’ mother and stepfather, Shereen Welch Roberts and Thomas Martin Crowley, were in court. Mrs. Roberts said she runs an internet shipping business from her home at 304 Trice Road in Milner and her son works in the business and is desperately needed there. She told the judge the weapons in the home belonged to Seth Roberts’ deceased father and that she knew he had been killing armadillos but was unaware of the bombs. ”He shoots. He has 14 acres. I have a shooting range at my home, too,” Mrs. Roberts said. She also said Peters rented from Seth Roberts who owned the home where the alleged bombs were seized and that Peters works as a server at J. Henry’s restaurant in Griffin. Judge Wilson set bond for Roberts at $25,000 with multiple conditions. He confined him to house arrest at his mother’s home. The mother must remove all firearms from her home to the home of her parents, Tom and Athene Welch, next door. Roberts can possess no firearms, explosives or fireworks while out on bond. He is also subject to a search and specimen clause and sheriff’s deputies may search Mrs. Roberts’ home at any time. Peters was granted the same bond with the same conditions. He is restricted to house arrest at his parents’ home in Griffin but can leave to go to work.

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