Man held after apparent pipe bombs found on towing vessels

Written by Nick Blenkey
Becker mugshot

Becker {above) is being held by the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correction Facility Authority

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia reports that Nathaniel Blayn Becker, 42, of Marietta, Ohio, was charged October 28 in a federal criminal complaint with possession of one or more unregistered destructive devices. Becker was arrested by law enforcement authorities in Marietta. on October 27.

According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement officers recovered suspected destructive devices from two different towboats on the Ohio River on October 21 and October 25, 2021.

A filing in the case identifies the boat in the October 21 incident as the Janis R. Brewer and the boat in the second incident as the Connie K. That same filing mentions an incident involving a third vessel, the M/V Findlay.

The criminal complaint alleges that Becker purchased pipes and other relevant components of the suspected destructive devices from a Lowe’s store in Marietta on four separate occasions.

“The cooperation of Lowe’s was instrumental in Becker’s arrest and I thank them for their assistance,” said United States Attorney Will Thompson. “I commend the many law enforcement agencies for their swift investigation leading to Becker’s arrest.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is conducting the investigation with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the West Virginia State Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Parkersburg Police Department, the Wood County Sheriff’s Department and the Washington County, Ohio, Police Department.

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