Two Arrested In Connection With Pipe Bombs Found At Courthouse
Suspects said the devices were "to scare" the victim, but police found explosive powder and BBs inside.
On day set to remember those who have fallen in the line of duty instead led to the all hands on deck investigation and arrest of a father and son; Berry Albert Nichols, 53, of Mounds and Christopher Dean Nichols, 23, of Sapulpa. Both are alleged to be connected to the explosive scare that left downtown Sapulpa in distress in the early evening hours on Tuesday.
At nearly 5 p.m., on May 23, Sapulpa Police responded to the 200 block of East Dewey in reference to a possible explosive device located inside a vehicle.
Upon arrival at the Creek County Courthouse parking lot officers verified two pvc pipe type explosive devices located inside the vehicle. The Tulsa Bomb Squad and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were notified and responded.
The Tulsa Bomb Squad removed the devices from the vehicle and conducted a render safe procedure to prevent any unacceptable detonation of the two devices.
Author of the probable cause affidavit, Sapulpa Police Detective Brett Henson notes that each device was made of pvc pipe approximately one and one half inches by eight inches and filled with a suspected low explosive powder, steel bb’s, a rubber grommet and hobby fuse.
Video surveillance footage of the courthouse parking lot was reviewed and provided investigators with an alleged timeline of events.
At approximately 1:46 p.m. a blue GM type pickup with a white hood traveling East on Dewey, made a right turn going south into the Creek County Courthouse parking lot. The vehicle circles the parking lot and parked east of the victim’s car on the same row.
A few minutes later, a white male dressed in an orange / reddish colored shirt, and pants walks towards the victim’s vehicle, a blue Ford Expedition. The white male is then said to allegedly walk around the vehicle and appears to enter the driver’s side door. After a few minutes the vehicle leaves the parking lot. The suspect appears at one time to have a white item in his left hand prior to entering the vehicle.
During the investigation, Christopher Nichols was identified as the possible person observed in the surveillance video.
According to a press release issued by the Sapulpa Police Department, the improvised explosive devices were put into a vehicle owned by Jolen Rosson. Ms. Rosson was also the victim of another case related to Berry Nichols, were he was charged with shooting with intent to kill. Rosson was at the courthouse on Tuesday attending to other court proceedings not related to the shooting with intent to kill case.
Shortly before 9 p.m. on Tuesday officers located the suspect vehicle at 1500 North Main Street where Christopher Nichols was present.
During a post-Miranda statement with Christopher Nichols, he allegedly admits he driving the blue GMC pickup to the Creek County Courthouse parking lot and was present earlier in the day. He allegedly stated he got into the vehicle but not place anything in it, but take change from inside.
During the investigation, father Berry Nichols allegedly admitted to helping manufacture the explosive devices. He also stated Christopher assisted in the manufacturing of the devices by purchasing the necessary items. Berry also stated it was a “dumb thing” that they did, also admitting to attempting to scare Rosson.
Evidence was recovered from the home of Berry Nichols; receipts from Westlake Hardware and Wal-mart in Sapulpa corroborate the purchased items used to manufacture the devices. Berry is alleged to have admitted to driving Christopher to purchase said items.
PVC pipe similar to the type of pipe that the explosives were constructed with were also located inside the bed of the truck apprehended at 1500 North Main Street.
Charges for the father and son duo are anticipated to be for placing a bomb in or nearby a building or car with unlawful intent to destroy, conspiracy, bomb manufacturing and second degree burglary. Both are being held at the Creek County Justice Center. Bail has not been set.
Sapulpa’s Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #94 has yet to reschedule their recognition ceremony which honors law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others which is part of National Police Week.
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