Monday, November 22, 2010
A San Diego County man accused of robbing banks and having the largest cache of homemade explosive compounds ever found in one spot on U.S. soil was ordered by a judge today to remain in custody on $5 million bail.
George Djura Jakubec, 54, pleaded not guilty to 12 felony counts of possessing destructive devices and 14 counts of possessing ingredients to make destructive devices, along with two bank robbery charges.
Deputy District Attorney Terri Perez told Judge Marshall Hockett that after a gardener was injured in an explosion at Jakubec's unincorporated Escondido home last week, a large amount of hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, or HMTD, was discovered.
Investigators with the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and San Diego County Sheriff's Department also came across other explosive compounds known by the acronyms of ETN and PETN, the prosecutor said.
She said 13 unfilled grenades were also found at the house, along with the explosives to put in them and unspecified forms of shrapnel.
The discovery of what she called "a bomb factory'' amounted to "the largest quantity of these types of homemade explosives at one place in the United States,'' Perez said.
The explosive materials brought together by Serbian native were all "volatile'' and "a huge danger to officers and the public,'' Perez said.
There was also evidence that he had been traveling to Mexico, she said without elaborating.
The prosecutor said the intentions of Jakubec, a naturalized U.S. citizen, are still being investigated.
The gardener, 49-year-old Mario Garcia of Fallbrook, suffered injuries to his left eye and left arm when he inadvertently stepped on explosive material that had fallen to the ground last Thursday in the 1900 block of Via Scott.
Explosives experts found the HMTD in jars, and buried them in the ground on Friday to detonate them, closing the southbound lanes of Interstate 15 for about three hours for motorists' safety.
According to the prosecutor, Jakubec robbed banks in San Diego County on June 25 and July 17, and got away with a "substantial amount'' of money.
She did not provide details, but San Diego police reported a robbery at a Bank of America in the Sorrento Valley on June 25 that was first believed to be the work of the so-called "Geezer Bandit.''
The suspect, who wore a Halloween-style old man mask, handed a teller a demand note and escaped with cash, according to the SDPD.
On July 17, another Bank of America branch, this one on on Carmel Mountain Road, was robbed by a gray-haired, clean shaven man of about 5-feet-8-inches, wearing a floppy straw hat and sunglasses, police said.
Jakubec has short gray hair with a receding hairline and is slight in stature.
HMTD is made by mixing a liquid solution of hydrogen peroxide and hexamine with citric acid of sulfuric acid. The explosive was found in the dwelling of terrorism suspects who in 2006 plotted to detonate liquid explosives on at least 10 airplanes traveling from the United Kingdom to the United States and Canada.
Jakubec, apparently a building contractor, pleaded guilty in 2009 to commercial burglary and was placed on three years probation, according to court records.