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Man attempts to blow up Confederate monument, police say

Man attempts to blow up Confederate monument, police say”

A man captured while trying to blow up a Confederate monument in Houston, Texas on Saturday has been charged with a federal crime.

Andrew Schneck, 25, was charged with attempting to maliciously damage or destroy the monument to Richard Dowling, a lieutenant in the Confederate army.

Schneck was holding two small boxes that included a viable explosive, a timer, wires connected to a homemade detonator, a battery, and an explosive compound, according to the statement. When park rangers ordered Schneck to put down the boxes, he took a drink of clear liquid from a plastic bottle and then spit it on the ground, court documents said.

Mr Schneck, from Texas, was on five years' probation after pleading guilty in 2014 to improperly storing explosive material.

"Nitroglycerin is highly risky to transport or use", the Justice Department said in a statement. "A criminal complaint was filed in Houston federal court today charging Andrew Schneck, of Houston". According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Scheck had been conducting "chemistry experiments" inside his parents' $2.1 million home. KHOU-TV reported that Federal Bureau of Investigation officials searched the home in Museum District neighborhood near Rice University from mid-Sunday to Monday morning. After noticing a timer in one of Schneck's boxes, the ranger called police. Police asked Schneck why he wanted to harm the statue and he answered he did not "like that guy", the complaint states.

Philip Hilder, Schneck's attorney, declined to comment. Exams of the substances revealed that they were nitroglycerin and Hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD), the charges said.

Schneck told police he had other chemicals at his Houston home.

Authorities urged residents to leave their homes at 10 a.m., according to a city of Houston emergency alert. The motion said early termination was warranted because Schneck had "devoted himself to his education and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts from Austin College" and had "matured and his focus is no longer concentrated on high-risk activities". A federal judge let him off probation early, after just two years and two months. A detention hearing is scheduled for Thursday, August 24.

If convicted for Saturday's incident, Schneck faces a minimum of five to 40 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.



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