The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

State News

January 23, 2014

IU student pleads not guilty to bomb-making charge

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — An Indiana University student pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge accusing him of trying to make a bomb after investigators say they found dangerous chemicals and other materials in his apartment.

Bloomington police arrested Ryder Pickens, 20, on Wednesday night after he was released from a hospital where he had been taken Jan. 17 for evaluation. He faces a felony charge of attempting to manufacture a destructive device, The Herald Times reported.

Pickens was being held in the Monroe County Jail on $1 million bond. It's not clear whether he has an attorney.

Police had received a call from someone saying Pickens had "dangerous chemicals, a hazardous material suit, a respirator and glassware associated with a laboratory" in his bedroom, Sgt. Joe Crider said.

Searches of Pickens' apartment turned up several containers of chemicals and laboratory equipment, including sodium nitrate, black iron oxide, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid and common household cleaners, Crider said.

The FBI and the Indiana National Guard have confirmed the chemicals could be used to make explosives, Crider said.

A search of Pickens' desktop computer found search queries for "weapons of mass destruction," ''effects of sarin gas" and "the chemical components for Agent Orange," Crider said.

Agent Orange was a defoliant used by the U.S. military in Vietnam. Sarin gas is poisonous.

Pickens denied he was trying to make a bomb, Crider said.

IU spokesman Mark Land told the newspaper that Pickens is a pre-informatics student from Danville and enrolled at IU for the spring term.

 

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