Feds charge Detroiter in explosives case

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A Detroit man is facing federal charges for unlawfully keeping explosives at his home, the United States Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

Byron Tyrone Ross was arrested Sunday through an operation headed by the FBI, Michigan State Police and the Detroit Police Department, officials said in a statement.

The 28-year-old had earlier offered to sell four “pineapple” hand grenades to a “confidential human source” for $150 apiece, according to a criminal complaint.

An investigation led authorities to four explosive devices inside a shoebox at his home in Detroit, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Through an examination, “the FBI determined that all four devices were functional, containing a live fuse with markings indicative of U.S. military equipment and smokeless power — a propellant commonly used in firearms and artillery shells,” investigators said in a statement.

Ross lacked a license for the grenades and did not register them as federal law requires, according to the release.

He has been charged with the unlicensed receipt of explosive materials and the unregistered possession of destructive devices, U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch announced Monday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David R. Grand ordered Ross temporarily detained.

A detention hearing is set for Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

“With upcoming holiday events and celebrations, the FBI urges members of the public to maintain awareness of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement,” said David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Division of the FBI, on Monday.

“As evidenced by yesterday’s arrest, the FBI will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners to expeditiously address any potential threat to public safety.”