Man accused of having bomb-making materials at home, court papers state

An explosion on Thursday October 19 in Colonial Williamsburg sparked an investigation.

WILLLIAMSBURG, Va. (WVEC) -- An explosion on Thursday October 19 in Colonial Williamsburg sparked an investigation.

Police arrested 30-year-old Stephen Powers the next day in Gloucester.

According to a criminal complain, he wasn't a stranger to investigators. They'd been aware of Powers for days.

The court documents state that on October 11, police and fire responded to the basement area of clothing store "Chico's" in Merchant's Square.

There were reports of a sulfur-like smell, as if someone just set off firecrackers. Powers told officials he was checking the boilers and a "Chico's" employee asked him to check on the odor.

Investigators found nothing.

The following day, Powers, a maintenance man, told police he found a note on the maintenance office door that said "I am sorry my device did not work last night. -D".

Two days later on October 14, he told police he found another note in the same area. This one just saying "Andramelech".

Powers said he would be the only person in the area who knew what that meant, besides people he served with overseas. But, he also told police all of the people he served with overseas were dead or in jail because he testified against them.

Then, the explosion came after these events.

The court papers state that the pipe bomb appeared to have been placed in the mulch. The P-5 parking lot is connected to the door where Powers' found the notes.

When police searched his home in Gloucester, they found the same bottle caps with the same logo inside as they did at the explosion scene, as well as several similar brown extension cords.

Powers told police he was making a homemade shotgun.

He also had inconsistent explanations about where he was on the day of the explosion.

In the court documents, Powers said that he was traveling past Williamsburg on the parkway to pick up his wife but his wife worked behind York High School, the other direction.

Also, he'd previously told police about the word "Andramelech" and it was an Arabic lady who used this word and cursed his unit while he was in Iraq.

But, a background check determined Powers was a DOD civilian and went active duty in 2006-2007 as a dental technician. He was never deployed to Iraq and was discharged honorably from the military.

The same criminal complaint also details how police also found out Powers bought three plastic jars of Benchmark Smokeless powder with a Wells Fargo credit card on October 16. However, he reported the credit stolen.

It was later revealed the card was reported stolen after he made the purchase, and he was seen on surveillance at the Bass Pro Shop.

On Monday, police confirmed to 13News Now that Powers was previously employed as a maintenance worker at Colonial Williamsburg until September 2017.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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