Man Charged After Explosive Device, Silencer Discovered

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 | by Ben Dryden |


A New Richmond man is facing felony charges in Polk County Circuit Court for possession of a pipe bomb and a homemade silencer following an investigation in which the FBI and the Marathon County Bomb Squad assisted the Polk County Sheriff’s Department and the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Polk County Circuit Court, Clayton Blackburn, of New Richmond, is charged with Class H Felony Possession of Firearm Silencer, Class H Felony Possession of Improvised Explosives (an improvised explosive device), and Class H Felony Possession of Improvised Explosives (materials or components to assemble an improvised explosive device).

On July 23, 2018, an individual brought a box of items to Smith Sales, which is located in St. Croix County, to have the contents sold on consignment. After inspecting the items in the box, Smith Sales contacted the St. Croix Sheriff’s Department to report a possible explosive device.

The FBI inspected the device and determined that it was a complete pipe bomb with an active fusing system. The bomb was defused by the Marathon County Bomb Squad.

The individual who had brought in the items resides in Polk County and stated to investigating officers that the box of items belonged to Clayton Blackburn and that Blackburn had left his belongings in a Polk County residence after he was kicked out.

Search warrants were conducted both at the Polk County residence where Blackburn had resided, and at his current residence in St. Croix County. At the Polk County residence investigating officers also located a homemade, functional firearm silencer.

The criminal complaint goes on to state that when officers interviewed Blackburn, he stated that he had made the pipe bomb when he lived in Florida, brought it with him to Wisconsin and then lost track of it in his belongings. Blackburn also told officers that he had made the firearm silencer.

Blackburn faces a maximum penalty of 6 years imprisonment on each of his criminal charges. Online circuit court records show that Blackburn made a court appearance on July 30, 2018 and was placed on a $2,500 signature bond with a condition that he not possess any firearms or explosives. He is scheduled to appear again in August 2018.

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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