A Moses Lake man suspected of gathering bomb-making materials to blow up his former workplace had picked out the wrong type of fertilizer, authorities say.
The investigation into Ryan S. Palmer, 39, found that he stole a urea-based fertilizer from the Nutrien Ag Solutions facility in Moses Lake – not an ammonium nitrate formulation that could have been mixed with fuel oil to produce an explosive compound called ANFO, said Kyle Foreman, a spokesman for the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.
Palmer, who appears to have no prior criminal record, was arrested the night of Dec. 27 after a sheriff’s deputy discovered various materials in his car during a routine traffic stop. According to court records, those materials included fertilizer, an antifreeze bottle that Palmer had filled with diesel fuel, and a mortar he had made from a PVC pipe, gunpowder and a plastic syringe.
“The device that he made was rudimentary and low-order and incomplete,” Foreman said. “It was not going to blow up right there.”