A California man accused of robbing banks and assembling what may be the largest cache of homemade explosives ever found in the U.S. was ordered held on $5 million bail Monday.
George Djura Jakubec, a 54-year-old unemployed software engineer, pleaded not guilty to two bank robbery charges, 12 felony counts of possessing destructive devices and 14 counts of possessing ingredients to make destructive devices. He faces up to 40 years in prison.
Prosecutors say that eight pounds of the homemade explosive HMTD was found after a gardener was seriously injured in an explosion on Jakubec's property near Escondido last week. Federal and local officials also say they found nine detonators and 13 unfilled homemade grenades with attached shrapnel.
San Diego County Deputy D.A. Terri Perez called the discovery a "bomb factory" and said it was "the largest quantity of these types of homemade explosives at one place in the United States."
"He had the makings of a bomb lab," said Perez. "He had precursors to making these explosives. He had detonators, he had grenades and so essentially he could make these destructive devices, and had completed several of them."
Federal authorities said the HMTD discovered had the explosive power of several of the devices used in the London subway bombing of 2005, which killed 52 people. Explosives experts found the HMTD in jars, and buried them in the ground on Friday to detonate them, closing the southbound lanes of Interstate 15 for about three hours for motorists' safety.
Authorities also allege they found PETN, the powder explosive used in the recent cargo bombing plot, by the failed "shoe bomber" in 2001 and allegedly by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in the unsuccessful attempt to bring down Northwest flight 253 with an underwear bomb last Christmas.