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Documents show chemicals seized at UCD researcher's home | Crime

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Documents show chemicals seized at UCD researcher's home
Crime

SACRAMENTO, CA - David Snyder kept quiet and calm in court as he faced 10 counts of possessing firearms and explosives at his arraignment Thursday.

The UC Davis researcher was arrested after an explosion at his campus apartment. When police searched the home, they found firearms and explosives, according to court documents. Synder has been out on bail since February. 

Outside the courthouse, Snyder's attorney spoke on his client's behalf.

"I'm sorry, Dr. Snyder's not making a comment. We would just indicate that we look forward to participating in the criminal justice process so that Dr. Snyder can clear his name," Snyder's attorney said.

Court documents detailed the evidence collected in the investigation. Snyder had multiple firearms and ammunition banned from campus housing. But, the list of chemicals found scattered throughout the apartment was even more disturbing to those who know exactly what those chemicals can do.

"I don't know of anything that one would do with aluminum powder other than to make an explosive," Cosumnes River College professor Dr. James Symes said. "It's what the unabomber used."

Aluminum powder was just one of the items that stood out when Symes looked over the list of chemical components outlined in court documents. While some of what he saw on the list are common chemicals, others raise immediate red flags.

"Ammonium Perchlorate jumps out. That's used for rocket fuel, and also the powdered aluminum as I mentioned pops out because that's used for a reducing agent," Symes said. "You mix those two together, essentially put them in a pipe and close both ends, and you have a pipe bomb."

But Snyder was a chemistry researcher. Isn't it possible he might have brought some of his work home with him? Dr. Symes said it would be irresponsible for any chemist to use some of the materials outside a controlled lab, much less an apartment complex.

"There are Class One explosives in here and chemicals to make explosives, and that endangers everyone in the neighborhood," Symes said pointing out chemicals listed in court documents.

And Symes said some of the explosive materials reportedly found in Snyder's apartment are so dangerous, even some labs have no business with them.

"We have many students in here," Symes said referring to his own chemistry department, "and we have a really well-stocked chemical stockroom. We don't have these in here because we would be afraid of them."

Snyder is scheduled to be back in court at the end of April.

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