AUGUSTA — A city man pleaded guilty Tuesday to criminal use of explosives in a case in which part of a neighborhood near Memorial Bridge had to be evacuated last spring.

Jeremy G. Upp, 36, was sentenced to three years in jail, with all but nine months suspended, and two years probation. He did not address the judge at the sentencing hearing Tuesday in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Meanwhile, authorities said Tuesday that Upp’s possession of triacetone triperoxide — an explosives compound nicknamed Mother of Satan by Islamic extremists for its instability — did not appear to include plans to use it in harmful ways. The compound can be made from household items, authorities have said.

“I think in this case here it was a nondescript use of explosive devices more for personal pleasure,” acting State Fire Marshal Joseph Thomas said. “There was no more sinister intent.”

Upp’s attorney, William Baghdoyan, said his client is a “do-it-yourself type of guy” who got the explosive-making idea from the Internet.

“Essentially what he was doing was making big firecrackers,” Baghdoyan said after the hearing. “It was a matter of curiosity and enthusiasm for doing something new and different.”

Upp was arrested May 17 after the investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s Office got a warrant to search his Gage Street apartment following reports of explosions at the rear of the property.

At the time, Upp’s girlfriend disputed a report that she told police Upp had been manufacturing and detonating the explosive.

Authorities executed a search warrant on Upp’s apartment at 12:45 p.m. that day. A Maine State Police bomb squad detonated the explosive material after 7 p.m. and neighbors from homes next to Upp’s were evacuated.

Conditions of probation ban Upp from using or possessing criminal explosives.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]


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