Man charged for allegedly trying to bring improvised bomb aboard bus in SLC

Posted at 4:15 PM, Feb 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-12 19:01:22-05

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A man is facing several charges after he was arrested for allegedly trying to bring an improvised explosive device onto a Greyhound bus in Salt Lake City earlier this month.

Clifton Paul Blanchard, 33 of Salt Lake City and also known as “Brother Spider” and “Oaf”, was arrested February 5 at a Greyhound Bus Station at 250 South 600 West in Salt Lake City after a Utah Transit Authority police officer responded to a complaint from security.

According to charging documents filed Thursday, security personnel had asked the man to leave the Greyhound Bus Station, but the man refused and continued to attempt to sneak aboard a bus. The responding officer felt Blanchard was either under the influence or suffering from mental distress and obtained his name to make a records check. Blanchard eventually tried to leave, despite officers asking him to stay.

Blanchard was ultimately taken into custody, and police located marijuana, a pellet gun, a CO2 cartridge and several knives in a backpack. They also found a package wrapped in duct tape with a nylon cord coming out of it. Blanchard told police he had combined several elements to make an improvised explosive device.

The package appeared to consist of a CO2 cartridge filled with gun powder and surrounded by BBs and nails–all held together by duct tape. A nylon cord filled with gun powder was set to serve as a fuse and connected the IED with several matches and a striker plate.

Bomb squad personnel later determined, “that, had the matches at the end of the fuse been lit, the device would have functioned as an explosive device and propelled shrapnel in all directions.”

Blanchard faces the following charges: Use of a weapon of mass destruction as a first-degree felony, possession or removal of explosive device as a second-degree felony, carrying concealed dangerous weapon or firearm to a bus as a third-degree felony, criminal trespass as a class B misdemeanor, and interference with an arresting officer as a class B misdemeanor.