A Santa Clara man suspected of threatening a public official is in custody and being held without bail Wednesday after authorities searched his home and ended up detonating an apparent explosive device in his front yard.
Everett Basham, 45, was arrested at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday at his home at 3131 Humboldt Ave. by officers from the California Highway Patrol's Protective Services Division, division spokesman Sean Kennedy said.
Two hours later, at about 12:45 p.m., officers from the CHP's SWAT unit executed a search warrant at Basham's home, observed dangerous chemicals in the residence and notified the CHP's Hazardous Device Detail, Kennedy said.
The detail's officers went into the home and were later joined by the Santa Clara County sheriff's bomb squad, Kennedy said.
"They found the precursors for homemade explosive items," Kennedy said.
As they catalogued and removed some of the items, officers became concerned that one article could be an explosive, Kennedy said.
Rather than risk an explosion if they put it into a vehicle, the officers decided to blow it up in the home's front yard, Kennedy said.
"They dug two holes and lined them up with sandbags," Kennedy said. "They detonated around it and caused it to be destroyed without letting the item explode."
"For the safety of all, they decided it was safer to do it in the front yard," he said.
CHP officers and the sheriff's bomb squad are continuing to search Basham's home today, Kennedy said.
Basham is being held in Santa Clara County Jail without bail, sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jose Cardoza said.
He was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats, threatening or intimidating a public official, igniting or attempting to ignite an explosive device with the intent to commit murder, and unlawful possession of a concealed firearm, Cardoza said.
The CHP's Protective Services Division, based in Sacramento, investigates reports of threats to public officials in California, Kennedy said.
Kennedy said he could not name the official the Basham is alleged to have threatened.
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