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Press Release

Ohio Man Arrested on Federal Criminal Complaint in Connection with Suspected Explosive Devices Found on Tug Boats

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

Defendant charged with possession of unregistered destructive devices

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Nathaniel Blayn Becker, 42, of Marietta, Ohio, was charged today in a federal criminal complaint with possession of one or more unregistered destructive devices.  Becker was arrested by law enforcement authorities yesterday in Marietta.   

According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement officers recovered suspected destructive devices from two different tugboats on the Ohio River on October 21 and  October 25, 2021.  The criminal complaint alleges that Becker purchased pipes and other relevant components of the suspected destructive devices from a Lowe’s store in Marietta on four separate occasions.

“The cooperation of Lowe’s was instrumental in Becker’s arrest and I thank them for their assistance,” said United States Attorney Will Thompson.  “I commend the many law enforcement agencies for their swift investigation leading to Becker’s arrest.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is conducting the investigation with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the West Virginia State Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Parkersburg Police Department, the Wood County Sheriff’s Department and the Washington County, Ohio, Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorney Joshua C. Hanks is handling the prosecution.

Note: The charge contained in the complaint is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:21-mj-00206.



Updated October 28, 2021