Los Alamos Police Department Bomb Squad members Cmdr. Preston Ballew, left, and Cpl. Sheldon Simpson transport a box of old dynamite for disposal. Photo Courtesy LAPD
Los Alamos Police Department bomb squad members, Cmdr. Preston Ballew, left, and Cpl. Sheldon Simpson place a box of dynamite in the ground in Embudo Monday prior to disposal. Photo Courtesy LAPD
The Los Alamos Police Department bomb squad truck arrives in Embudo Monday. Photo Courtesy LAPD
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Police Department bomb squad traveled to Embudo earlier Monday in response to a call from a local farmer who reported having explosives he needed to dispose of.
The farmer had located a box of 1970s era nitroglycerine-based dynamite embedded in a rat’s nest in a root cellar, according to LAPD Cmdr. Preston Ballew, who is also the bomb squad commander.
Ballew said the LAPD bomb squad is the back up for New Mexico State Police who respond to call from throught the state and that NMSP asked LAPD to handle the call.
Ballew and fellow squad members Cpl. Ben Hinrichs, Cpl. Sheldon Simpson and Sgt. Chris Ross entered the scene where they hand=moved the dynamite and “conducted proper disposal”, Ballew said.
“Old or decaying dynamite worries us the most because it is so unpredictible,” Ballew said.
When dynamite ages, the nitroglycerine seeps out of the sawdust so it’s very shock-sensitive.
Ballew said old explosives are often found on farms and ranches but that owners are sometimes reluctant to report them to law enforcement agencies because they believe they will be charged with the cost of disposal.
“Bomb squads, including ours, will dispose of explosives at no cost to the public,” Ballew said. “We encourage anyone who finds explosives on their property to call us immediately.”