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Escondido ‘Bomb House’ Defendant Gets 30 Years

A man who manufactured bombs and stored large amounts of explosives in his rented home in North County, which had to be destroyed, was sentenced today to 30 years in federal prison.

Bomb making materials pack a room inside a house in Escondido in November 2010.
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Above: Bomb making materials pack a room inside a house in Escondido in November 2010.

Smoke is seen in Escondido as authorities set fire to a home they said was so packed with homemade explosives that they had no choice but to burn it to the ground.
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Above: Smoke is seen in Escondido as authorities set fire to a home they said was so packed with homemade explosives that they had no choice but to burn it to the ground.

George Djura Jakubec, 55, pleaded guilty in March to carrying a firearm during a bank robbery and attempted bank robbery, and admitted in a statement of facts that he made nine detonators, 13 grenade hulls and 22 other destructive devices and stored them at the Escondido residence. He could be eligible for parole when he is 80.

Investigators and attorneys have disclosed no motive for the defendant's bomb-making activities at the house he shared with his wife. U.S. District Judge Larry Burns sentenced Jakubec to the maximum sentence.

Jakubec admitted being armed with a loaded firearm when he robbed a Bank of America in San Diego of $43,000 on Nov. 13, 2009. He also pleaded guilty to being armed and going into the same bank two weeks later and trying to rob the financial institution, but leaving when he saw a security guard.

As part of his plea, Jakubec also admitted robbing a Bank of America on Scranton Road in San Diego of $1,480 on June 25, 2010, and stealing $10,400 from another BofA branch on Carmel Mountain Road last July 17.

Jakubec will have to repay the county of San Diego $541,000 for the cost of burning down the rental house and making the area safe before it was set on fire.

Defense attorney Michael Berg said that Jakubec felt vindicated because he didn't have to plead guilty to charges relating to the unlawful manufacture of possession of destructive devices.

Jakubec was arrested last Nov. 18 after a landscaper was seriously injured by stepping on some stones outside the home, detonating some volatile chemicals.

The cache of compounds possessed by Jakubec included substances used by suicide bombers and the so-called underwear and shoe bombers, authorities have said.

A state prosecutor who handled the case before it was turned over to federal authorities described the cache as the "largest quantity of these types of homemade explosives ever found at one place in the United States.''

Deputy District Attorney Terri Perez said Jakubec turned the rental home in unincorporated Escondido into a "bomb factory.''

The discovery of the stockpile prompted then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to declare the San Diego region a disaster area. Likewise, the county Board of Supervisors ratified a local emergency declaration over the dicey situation.

After weighing the risks posed by the explosive chemicals, sheriff's officials decided that burning down the house was the only reasonably safe way to dispose of the hazardous substances.

On the morning of the Dec. 9 controlled burn, deputies closed roads in the neighborhood and evacuated dozens of surrounding residences before a bomb squad remotely ignited the condemned home via a series of charges placed throughout it.

The resulting blaze reduced the house to a pile of smoldering rubble within about 90 minutes. Over the subsequent several weeks, environmental health personnel had to complete an exhaustive soil cleanup on the parcel where the contaminated home had stood.

Comments

Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | June 14, 2011 at 12:37 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

KUSI News reported that had prosecutors sought to convict him for the explosives alone the max he could've received in jail was 4 years. Something about that doesn't sound right.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | June 15, 2011 at 12:51 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

I also learned his neighbors described him as a decent guy up until he lost his job/career. With so many Americans and people throughout the world in search of a meaningful career, I wonder how many more fall under the spell of failure and seek release by inflicting possible violence on others?

Many of us are living check-to-check. Jobs are replacing careers. Jobs like McDonalds and WalMart. Some people say those jobs are better than nothing. I say you don't know what you're talking about. Life is more than flipping burgers and selling cheap product in a retail store. Going home feeling as though you made a difference leaves all of us with a purpose in life. Our government should work together to provide us the stability we need in the workplace or the upheaval witnessed in the Middle East will happen here sooner than we think.

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