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West Paramedic Freed Pending Pipe Bomb Trial

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WACO (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – A former Central Texas paramedic has been released on bond pending trial on a federal charge that he possessed pipe bomb materials.

A federal magistrate set a $25,000 bond Thursday for Bryce Ashley Reed. The 31-year-old former West paramedic’s trial is set for Sept. 23 in federal court in Waco.

♦♦♦ Click For Comprehensive Coverage of the West Fertilizer Plant Explosion ♦♦♦

Reed was arrested shortly after an April 17 fertilizer plant explosion in West that killed 15 people, injured hundreds and devastated much of the small town near Waco. According to a criminal complaint, Reed claimed to have made a pipe bomb and gave it to an Abbott resident inside a box.

A neighbor reported Reed to the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department. According to the complaint affidavit, on April 26, someone in the town of Abbott unwittingly took a galvanized metal pipe, fuse, lighter and a number of chemicals from Reed. The chemicals included potassium nitrate, aluminum powder, Iron Oxide, and Ammonium perchorate. The affidavit says all the items are elements of a pipe bomb. Court documents say the person who had the materials called the McLennan County Sheriffs Office Tuesday, and Reed admitted they were his.

Hours after he was arrested, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced the state would be wading back into a criminal investigation into the explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. on April 17. The timing of the announcement ramped up speculation that Reed may be involved somehow.

McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna told the Waco Tribune-Herald two weeks ago, however, that Texas Rangers have turned up no evidence linking Reed to the plant fire and explosion.

Reed’s attorney released a statement that said his client had nothing to do with the explosion.

Reed was fired from West Emergency Medical Services on April 19.

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