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Man who plotted to set off pipe bombs arrested second time after clerical error led to his release the first time

Posted at 4:28 PM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-04 00:18:15-05

WEST JORDAN, Utah — A West Jordan man is back in police custody. He has been charged with possession of explosive parts, a third-degree felony, after he plotted to set off pipe bombs around Salt Lake County on New Year’s Eve before changing his mind.

Police first arrested 40-year-old Rocky Graczyk on December 20, after a family member contacted police to report several concerns about Graczyk.

According to the probable cause statement from Graczyk’s arrest, the family member told police Graczyk had recently been contacting him and other family members non-stop to ask for money to “buy guns and to get a job.”

On the same day the family member contacted police about his concerns, the family member also said Graczyk had sent him a photo of nine pipe bombs, accompanying messages that said “check it out. Already made. Ready to go.”

The photo, according to the probable cause statement, depicted four steel pipes with caps on each end and five CO2 cartridges.

The family member told police he asked Graczyk where the fuses for the bombs were and that Graczyk replied the fuses were arriving in the mail the next day and the bombs were “already filled up centerfire highly explosive,” followed with a plea, “don’t call the cops o.k.”

According to court documents, On December 20, West Jordan Police searched Graczyk’s trash, which Graczyk had placed on the curb for collection outside of his home in Salt Lake County. Inside the trash cans, court documents state police found two large containers of gunpowder, a receipt for CO2 cartridges and empty CO2 cartridges.

Detectives then executed a search warrant on Graczyk’s home, according to the probable cause statement, and located cannon fuses in the residence.

“There were nine total devices. There were four pipe bombs and five devices that he had crafted using CO2 cartridges that were smaller, explosive type devices,” said Sgt. J.C. Holt of the West Jordan Police Department. “If he would have been able to successfully detonate those in a public place, yes, it could have been very bad.”

According to the probable cause statement, Graczyk admitted to police Post-Miranda that he had made the pipe bombs and sent the photo to the family member.

Court documents state Graczyk told police he had intended to set off bombs throughout the county in garbage cans on New Year’s Eve, but he later changed his mind.

Graczyk was arrested, but released from jail days later after formal charges weren’t filed. West Jordan police admitted a clerical error led to his initial release.

“The detective that submitted the report — there are multiple in-baskets that report can go to. He sent it to the wrong in-basket, so it did go to the D.A.’s office, but it did not alert them that he was in jail so the urgency was lacking there,” Holt said.

Thursday, the Salt Lake County District Attorney filed charges and Graczyk was arrested peacefully at his home.

“We maintained constant contact with him,” Holt said. “Even when he got out of jail, our detective who’s been working the case has been in contact with him.”

Graczyk is being held at the Salt Lake County Jail on $75,000 bail.