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Posted at 8:05 AM ET, 05/18/2010

Md. man charged with making bombs

By Washington Post editors

A 51-year-old Eastern Shore man has been charged with building and selling improvised bombs after investigators spent four months trying to learn the source of loud noises in Queen Anne's County, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Dale Anthony Rocknak of Lee Road in Chester was charged in a criminal summons with five counts of manufacturing and selling explosive devices. He faces a maximum 20 years in prison if convicted of each count; his trial is scheduled for June.

By Washington Post editors  | May 18, 2010; 8:05 AM ET
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Was he making bombs or meth?

Posted by: 123cartoon | May 18, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

For anyone old enough to remember when real fireworks were available to consumers, this is pretty silly.

As reported in other papers, these "explosive devices" were simply oversize firecrackers (misleadingly called "quarter-sticks"). Rather than describe this as a fireworks arrest -- which it was -- the Post chose to edit it even further to make it sound more like some mad bomber. Oh, please.

M-80s and quarter-sticks were sold everywhere in the 50s and 60s. Sure, they can be very dangerous if you're either a small child or an extremely stupid adult, but somehow we all arrived at adulthood with our fingers still attached.

Using the term "bomb" is quite misleading, though one suspects it is the term fed to the reporters by some ATF agents and local cops who fluffed up the story to make this sound like a major explosives bust of some potential terrorist,instead of a rather mundane arrest for oversize firecrackers. These are no different from "ladyfinger" firecrackers, just bigger.

Sure, these things are illegal, and they are perfectly right in busting him for this offense. However, let's call it what it is, instead of fluffing up the terms to make the story better.

It's hard to trust a newspaper that will cook a story this hard just to make it sound important.

Posted by: smokehill | May 19, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

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