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CALDWELL -- A 22-year-old Melba man could face federal explosives charges after deputies reportedly found a homemade pipe bomb in his SUV Thursday night.

Wade Hamilton McKinney, 22, is in the Canyon County Jail charged with felony possession of an explosive device, among other infractions.

Captain Dana Maxfield of the Canyon County Sheriff's Department says McKinney confessed to having the pipe bomb when he was questioned by a sheriff's deputy around 9:30 Thursday night.

Maxfield says the deputy was helping McKinney, whose 2001 GMC Jimmy was broken down on State Highway 45 a few miles south of Nampa.

Maxfield says as officers helped the 22-year-old, they found he had a suspended drivers license.

During the process of him being taken into custody, they asked him if there was anything illegal or dangerous in his car, and he told them there was a pipe bomb in there that didn't have a fuse in it, Maxfield said.

Deputies say they immediately called a bomb technician from the Nampa Police Department to secure the pipe bomb; however, it's not immediately known how the bomb was disposed of.

Maxfield went on to say that McKinney didn't make any specific threats with the bomb, but that his intent may have been to ignite the device in an unpopulated area.

It sounds like he and his buddies were going to go out in the desert and detonate a pipe bomb, Maxfield told KTVB.

The case will be forwarded the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for review and possible federal charges, according to Maxfield.

Maxfield reminds people that homemade explosives are illegal and dangerous, citing a recent Malheur County case where two men were badly injured while detonating bombs.

These things are dangerous. You don't know how stable they are when you put them together. And static electricity even in the construction process can cause them to explode. They're a dangerous thing, even to handle, Maxfield said.

Because of the danger Thursday night, State Highway 45 was closed from Missouri Avenue to Bennett Road, and the home where McKinney stopped in front of was also evacuated. Those living there say they were evacuated for about an hour.

McKinney was also charged for driving with a suspended license and cited for drug paraphernalia. That's because deputies say they also found a syringe and a digital scale inside the SUV.

A check in the Idaho Repository showed the 22-year-old has a lengthy criminal record with multiple charges related to drug paraphernalia and driving infractions.

McKinney is being held on a $150,000 bond and will next appear in court on July 18.


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