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Pipe bombs found in pickup, closing Adams Avenue to traffic

October 30, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

El Centro police closed the 700 block of Adams Avenue Monday after stopping a pickup and discovering two pipe bombs in the vehicle.

That discovery came as officers were following up on two calls — one about a man chasing another man with a hammer and another regarding a pickup being driven erratically. The calls were related, police later determined.

Around 6:30 p.m., officers stopped a pickup in the 700 block of Adams that matched the description of the vehicle that had reportedly been driven erratically.

When officers started to approach the vehicle, they received a report that there possibly was a handgun involved in the incidents, causing officers to draw their own guns.

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El Centro police Sgt. Mike Beltran said police ordered two men out of the pickup at gunpoint. The two complied, he said.

As officers searched the pickup, they found the two alleged explosive devices. Police then blocked off the street and ordered passersby away from the scene until the two devices, both described as pipe bombs, could be removed.

Police arrested the driver of the pickup, Ruben Francisco Sandoval, 19, of El Centro, on suspicion of being in possession of explosive devices. He was booked into the county jail with his bail set at $25,000. The passenger was released.

Beltran said of the report police received of a man chasing another man with a hammer involved Sandoval.

The cause of the argument was unclear to police today.

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