HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Investigators found explosives being transported in a van in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced on Thursday that broad law enforcement cooperation lead to charges against two suspects for possessing numerous illegal explosives.
While responding to a commercial burglary alarm on Wednesday evening Philadelphia Police Department officers watched 10-15 staged vehicles in the City Avenue Marriott parking lot leave as a unit once the officers arrived at the scene. Officers pursued the convoy after the vehicles first attempted to unsuccessfully ram a Target parking lot barricade at 4000 Monument Road.
Police followed the vehicles down I-76 toward Center City and stopped a conversion van at 18th and the Parkway and the suspects were removed from the van.
Philadelphia Police and the ATF searched the van, finding that the driver, Briand Larue, and passenger, Eric Murray, were transporting illegal explosives that include “quarter or half stick of dynamite,” a handheld propane tank torch, a taser and various tools that include bolt cutters, machetes and electric drills.
The explosives and tools recovered in the van are commonly used to attempt to dismantle and steal proceeds from ATMs. There have been at least 30 ATM bombings in Philadelphia within the last four days according to the Office of the Attorney General.
Thursday evening Murray and Laure each received three felony charges including, posession of weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy and risking a catastrophe, along with several misdemeanor charges.
The investigation is still ongoing.