Va. pipe bomb suspect captured in Montana

Police have arrested Laurence Stewart, a suspect in three pipe bombings in Stafford. (Courtesy of the Stafford County Sheriff\'s Office)

Neal Augenstein,

WASHINGTON – The man wanted for two pipe bombings in Stafford County and one in Fredericksburg has been arrested in Montana, after setting off two bombs during a pursuit, investigators say.

Laurence Stewart II was spotted near Great Falls, Mont. according to Richard Marianos, special agent in charge for the Washington field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Tobacco tells WTOP.

“He threw a number of pipe bombs at the cops that were chasing him,” Marianos says.

Stewart’s arrest comes the day after ATF, Virginia State Police, and Stafford County Sheriff’s Department named him as the suspect in three local pipe bombings, targeting his former fiancee and two deputies who had previously arrested Stewart.

“This shows how a million eyes looking for one guy works,” says Marianos.

Marianos says ATF agents and other investigators will travel to Montana, to aid in the extradition of Stewart, who faces three counts of attempted capital murder, as well as terror and arson charges.

In a statement, Stafford Sheriff’s office says when police in Montana attempted to stop Stewart’s vehicle he threw a pipe bomb, and sped off.

After his car was disabled by police “Stewart left his car and ran on foot, armed with a handgun. He was taken into custody. At this time there is no indication that any shots were fired during his capture,” according to the statement.

“He’ll be brought back to face our charges, and he’ll also be facing new ones for deploying explosive devices out there,” Marianos says.

This past Tuesday, local investigators say the bombs targeted a detective and deputy who arrested Stewart in an earlier domestic violence case, as well as his former fiancee’s home.

Wednesday, Stafford County Sheriff Charles Jett had implored the public’s help in capturing Stewart.

“This man is a serious danger and threat to society, and has already attempted to murder two law enforcement officers, their families and citizens,” Jett says.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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