‘Felony stupid’ bomb builder sentenced to eight years | VailDaily.com

‘Felony stupid’ bomb builder sentenced to eight years

Dustin Brown stuffed this 2-liter bottle with gunpowder, bullets, a shotgun shell and lead shot. Brown said the plan was to put it in the water and blow it up.
District Attorney’s Office|Special to the Daily |

EAGLE — If you intend to go fishing, then do not use anything like Dustin Brown’s bomb.

Or, if you and your girlfriend break up and you move out, then remember to take your bomb with you.

If you don’t, then your girlfriend might land in the Pitkin County jail. While she’s there, she might tell the police that your bomb is in the Roaring Fork Valley apartment where you used to live, and where officers can find it, like Brown’s girlfriend did.

In court this week, Brown referred to his own behavior as “felony stupid.” He blamed drugs and alcohol.

Instead of recycling, Brown stuffed a two-liter soda bottle with gunpowder, .22 caliber bullets, .25 caliber bullets, a .410 shotgun shell and dozens of small pieces of lead shot, then wrapped the whole thing with black plastic electric tape.

‘make a splash’

He did all that while on probation for his four previous felony convictions in North and South Carolina.

The plan, Brown said, was to put the concoction in the water — presumably Reudi Reservoir — and blow it up, because it would be fun, and because it could be construed as some form of fishing, Brown reportedly told police when they picked him up.

“The lead balls were in there to make a splash in the water,” Brown said.

He also reportedly told police he was employed by Blackwater, a private security firm that has worked in hot spots in the Middle East.

He’s not a Blackwater employee, and won’t be employed by anyone for about the next eight years. That’s the state prison sentence District Court Judge Russell Granger handed down this week.

‘Country boy’

“I made some stupid decisions,” Brown told Granger during his sentencing hearing. “My problem has been drugs and alcohol since I’ve been in high school.”

Brown said he has a daughter, and that straightened him out for a while. Custody fights drew him back to drugs and alcohol, so he left for Colorado.

Unfortunately, he was on felony probation in North Carolina when he hit the road. He did not have permission to be in Colorado, or out of North Carolina.

“This was not the smartest thing you could have done,” Granger said.

Jim Fahrenholtz, Brown’s defense attorney, argued passionately that Brown is a “country boy,” who likes to “build things that blow up.”

Brown’s family and local police in North Carolina agreed that he is a country boy who got involved in some things he should not, including trafficking pain medications.

“Trafficking pain meds was really stupid,” Brown said.

“I’m more concerned with the bomb and items within the bomb to create shrapnel,” Granger said in handing down the eight-year sentence. “You’re a country boy, but there are several country boys in this courtroom who have never built a bomb. It’s an event that could have very serious consequences.”

A bomb squad from Grand Junction was called in to deal with the bomb after police found it — right where his girlfriend said it would be.

Brown had already been in the Eagle County jail for nine months when he was sentenced.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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