Bryce Ashley Reed (Jail photo)
WACO (May 14, 2013)—A federal court appearance Wednesday for former West EMS volunteer Bryce Ashley Reed, 31, who admitted to possessing components to make a pipe bomb, was canceled after Reed deferred his right to a detention hearing to a later date, U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Daryl Fields said.
Reed waived arraignment and will enter a not guilty plea, Fields said.
He remained in the McLennan County Jail Wednesday afternoon.
Reed’s attorney, Jonathan Sibley of Waco, declined to comment on the reason for deferring the detention hearing, but said Reed maintains his innocence and “vigorously denies the allegations against him.”
“In the previous week, Mr. Reed has done everything in his power to dispute and unequivocally deny that the allegations against him in this indictment are in any way related to the tragic explosion at the West, Texas fertilizer plant,” Sibley said.
“Mr. Reed will again unequivocally deny any involvement in that disaster. Local authorities have stated that there is no evidence linking Mr. Reed to the West fertilizer plant explosion. It is time for the Federal government and its agencies do the same,” he said.
“This is a time where our community deserves answers and not vague statements and political posturing,” he said.
Reed was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury in Waco for possession of a destructive device.
A redacted version of the indictment was released late Tuesday afternoon on Pacer, the online government court information system.
Sibley learned of the indictment late Tuesday afternoon.
He questions the charge.
“I think they haven’t done a full investigation,” Sibley said.
“I think these charges are premature.”
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents arrested Reed late last Thursday afternoon in West after pipe bomb components were found on May 7 at the home of an Abbott resident who “had unwittingly taken possession of the components from Reed on April 26,” an arrest warrant affidavit said.
The components included a 3.5-inch by 1.5-inch length of galvanized pipe with end caps, in one of which was drilled a 1/8th-inch hole, the affidavit said.
Authorities also recovered hobby fuse, a lighter, a digital scale, a plastic spoon, six coils of metal ribbon, several pounds of chemicals in separate bags including potassium nitrate, potassium perchlorate, sulfur power, air float charcoal and aluminum power, the affidavit said.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives experts who inspected the material agreed that the components could “be readily assembled into a destructive device,” the affidavit said.
“Reed admitted to possessing the components of the pipe bomb,” the affidavit said.
Federal authorities said they would not speculate on whether the pipe bomb components have any connection to the April 17 fertilizer plant explosion in West, but local authorities didn’t equivocate.
“It is important to emphasize that at this point, no evidence has been uncovered to indicate any connection to the events surrounding the fire and subsequent explosion at the West Fertilizer Plant and the arrest of Bryce Reed,” a press release from the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office said.
Sibley reiterated Tuesday that Reed is in no way linked to the fertilizer plant explosion and said authorities have produced no evidence that suggests he was.
On Thursday state and federal officials plan to announce the results of their weeks-long investigation of the April 17 explosion at West Fertilizer Co., which left 15 dead, about 200 injured and damaged or destroyed scores of homes and buildings in a 37-block area of the town.