Texas man accused of trying to blow up Confederate statue

Saul Bowman
August 23, 2017

A 25-year-old man was arrested for allegedly planning to bomb a Confederate statue at a Houston park with explosives, federal prosecutors said Monday.

A Houston park ranger spotted Schneck Saturday night in Hermann Park in Houston kneeling near the statue of Richard Dowling, a lieutenant in the Confederate army.

"Scheck then proceeded to drink from the bottle, then immediately spit the liquid on the ground next to him".

The suspect, Andrew Schneck, 25, was released from probation previous year following a 2015 conviction for storing explosives, Acting US Attorney Abe Martinez revealed in Monday's statement. During probation, a judge kept him from "any contact with explosive materials", "contact with people.to communicate about explosive materials", or "any activities involving the use of chemical agents". He told law enforcement he had other chemicals at his home on Albans Road near Rice University.

Authorities allege that Schneck was caught with a plastic bottle with what is likely nitroglycerin, an active ingredient in the manufacture of explosives, and with a small aluminum tube that contained a white powder that tests showed was hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, which is used as an initiating or primary explosive. According to Martinez, Schneck had been conducting "chemistry experiments" inside the house.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents prepare to enter the home where Andrew Schneck allegedly stored bomb-making materials.

"There's a significant amount of material in there", said Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite. During the arrest, the ranger asked Schneck "whether he wanted to harm the Dowling statue.[He] replied that he did not 'like that guy'".

In a motion arguing for early termination of his client's supervised release, Schneck's lawyer, Philip Hilder, argued Schneck had been "of exemplary character" since his arrest. "It would be premature to comment at this time since we have not seen the evidence".

Federal agents search contents from the Houston home of Andrew Schneck. He received a chemistry degree from Austin College in 2016.

At one point, they even brought in a special robot, normally used to handle explosive materials and homemade bombs.

Schneck's next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.

According to the Justice Department, he faces up to 40 years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

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