MERIDIAN -- Police say the man they arrested on Wednesday for possessing a fake explosive device had threatened to activate it and "take out" law enforcement.
Meridian Police took two men into custody after a bomb scare inside a Meridian trailer park that forced residents to evacuate their homes and disrupted traffic for over six hours on Wednesday.
Meridian Police responded to the Rose Circle Trailer Park near downtown Meridian at about 4:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Police say they were investigating a tip from the FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force.
Officers say they had information that 49-year-old Timothy Dale Lawrence of Meridian was in possession of an improvised explosive device, or IED.
According to Meridian Police Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea, both the Boise Bomb Squad and the Mountain Home A.F.B. Explosive Ordinance Destruction team were called to the scene for the investigation. Basterrechea told KTVB that experts from both teams did, in fact, discover a bomb-like device made to look like several sticks of dynamite.
The device was later found to be a fake.
Basterrechea told KTVB that the FBI's involvement in the case was part of a regular, ongoing investigation.
"FBI involvement stems from our involvement with the FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force of which we are a member of, and that's where the information originated for us to start looking at this trailer and begin our search," Basterrechea said.
According to Basterrechea, information from classified sources revealed that Lawrence had threatened to harm law enforcement by detonating the fake bomb with a cell phone.
In a Thursday morning news release, Basterrechea informed the media that FBI agents had evidence that Lawrence made claims threatening to activate the hoax device and "take out" law enforcement.
Police went on to charge Lawrence with possessing a fake or "hoax" destructive device late Wednesday night.
Officers also arrested 46-year-old Jesse Ray Delgado for possession of methamphetamine in relation to the same incident. Police say Delgado was Lawrence's roommate.
The bomb scare disrupted traffic and caused general panic throughout Wednesday evening.
Dozens of residents were evacuated, and the intersection at Franklin and Meridian roads near the trailer park was shut down for over six hours Wednesday evening. Police eventually allowed residents to return to their homes at around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Police tell KTVB they initially tried to search for the explosive device using a mobile, bomb-detecting robot. However, those efforts failed because the robot was not able to fit inside the trailer home and couldn't penetrate the windows.
Basterrechea says bomb squad members were then forced to search the trailer by hand.
The FBI and the Department of Defense, along with officials from the Mountain Home Air Force Base and Boise bomb squads continue to investigate the bomb threat.
Timothy Lawrence could face up to fifteen years in prison if found guilty of possessing a felony hoax device.