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News Release
Cowlitz Sheriff Makes Explosives Burglary Arrests - 12/01/18

Kelso, WA - On November 28, 2018, Cowlitz County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a commercial burglary of an explosives storage site in a remote location in eastern Cowlitz County. The representative of the Dyno Nobel Company, which specializes in manufacturing and distribution of explosives, told the deputy that they lease a facility on rural Weyerhaeuser property where they maintain a small inventory of commercial explosive materials. This particular facility holds primarily blasting caps. The facility is behind a locked gate and has numerous other levels of security. It was discovered that significant force was used to defeat the levels of security and gain access to the building. Several thousand blasting caps were stolen. (each about the size of a ball point pen) Evidence showed that a smaller vehicle, similar to a small pickup or car may have been used.

Deputy J. DeRosier was working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms on the case, when an informant contacted a detective from the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Narcotics Task Force about a person attempting to sell explosives. Investigators set up an undercover purchase and gained information on making additional purchases. They also described as having to spend hours breaking into the facility before gaining access.

At the next undercover purchase opportunity the suspects were arrested.

A search warrant was obtained for the Vancouver residence where one of the suspects lived and additional explosives and homemade explosive materials were recovered, along with burglary tools and other evidence. A 1998 Dodge Dakota pickup was also seized.

Arrested were:

Nathanael Willard,  21 yoa of Vancouver, WA, and Austin Mowe, 21 yoa also of Vancouver, WA.

Both are held without bail on charges of:

Burglary 1st, Theft 1st, Possession of Stolen Property 1st, Trafficking Stolen Property 1st, and possession of Explosives.

The majority of the stolen property was recovered and the investigation is ongoing, Anyone with further information is asked to contact the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office, Deputy J. DeRosier or the on-duty sergeant, at 360-577-3092.