5 held after series of Fresno bombings. Police, FBI probe links to hate groups

  • In US
  • 2023-03-01 23:53:46Z
  • By Fresno Bee

Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama on Wednesday announced the arrest of five people after a series of bombings in the city. A task force of local police and FBI agents also seized bomb-making components, firearms, methamphetamine and white supremacist paraphernalia, including Nazi flags.

The investigation ranged as far as Riverside County, where Scott Anderson, 44, the suspected bomber, was arrested together with Frank Rocha, 56. Two other men are in custody after they were arrested in Fresno: Steven Burkett, 51; and Paul New, 55. Also arrested was Amanda Sanders, 41.

Balderrama, at a news conference at downtown police headquarters, said investigators are trying to ascertain if Anderson or the other four are linked directly to known white supremacist groups.

The series of bombings began Dec. 13, 2022, with an explosion in a car at 5674 E. Clinton Ave. Other bombings took place at:

  • 3650 West San Jose, in a car, on Jan 6

  • 2763 North Argyle, in a mailbox, on Jan 27

  • 5674 East Clinton, in a car, on Jan 27

  • 377 West Fallbrook, in a car, on Feb. 19

  • 2048 North Fine on Feb. 21, in a car at a Fresno County Probation Office

Anderson, who has a criminal record that includes being a felon in possession of a firearm, is accused of detonating an explosive device and possession of firearms. Rocha is accused of possession bomb-making materials. Burkett is facing charges of possession of firearms and ammunition as a felon. New is facing charges of possessing firearms and explosives as a convicted felon. Sanders was charged with possession of the methamphetamine.

Balderrama said that it is too early in the investigation to determine whether a hate crime had been committed or if one was planned. He also said the was concerned that the bombings were becoming more frequent and brazen.

"We have a solid case on some very dangerous people," he said. "The fact that they targeted a law enforcement vehicle was very concerning to me."


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