Man arrested in connection with device that exploded outside Alabama attorney general’s office

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Attorney General Steve Marshall speaks in Hoover at a law enforcement conference in 2018.

Sherrel Wheeler Stewart, WBHM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Federal authorities have arrested a man they said placed a homemade explosive device — made with nails and firecrackers — outside the Alabama attorney general’s office in February.

Kyle Benjamin Douglas Calvert, 26, of Irondale, Alabama, was arrested Wednesday on charges of malicious use of an explosive and possession of an unregistered destructive device, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Authorities said a device was detonated in downtown Montgomery outside the Alabama attorney general’s office in the early morning hours of Feb. 24. No injuries or significant damage to nearby buildings was reported. The device exploded about 3:42 a.m. on a Saturday.

The device was made with fireworks, nails, metal screws and material soaked in a gasoline or lighter fluid substance, and it was hidden inside a coffee container, prosecutors wrote in a court document.

Federal prosecutors wrote in a court filing, asking for Calvert to be kept in custody, that Calvert had posted a Dec. 12 video on social media expressing his frustration with government. Prosecutors said they also believe he placed stickers, including some with the phrase “Support your local antifa,” on state government buildings on the same night.

Available court records indicated that Calvert will be represented by a court-appointed federal defender, but did not name a specific attorney.

“Thanks to the work of the FBI and our state and local law enforcement partners, this defendant is being held accountable for allegedly detonating an explosive device outside of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a statement. “The Justice Department has no tolerance for acts of violence targeting those who serve the public.”

Calvert had his initial appearance on Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Montgomery. U.S. Magistrate Judge Chad W. Bryan ordered that Calvert be held in custody until further proceedings.

“My staff and I are breathing a collective sigh of relief this morning knowing that this individual has been taken off the streets,” Marshall said. “Although more information will be provided in the weeks to come, I think it is safe to say that this was not a random act of violence.”

Federal prosecutors wrote that a security guard with the nearby Southern Poverty Law Center called 911 to report that an explosion occurred downtown early Saturday morning on Feb. 24. A dispatched police officer could not see any immediate physical evidence. Staff at the attorney general’s office found the “remnants of a possible explosive device” when they arrived at work that Monday, prosecutors said.

 

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