LANCASTER – A 52-year-old Lancaster man who was caught with an improvised explosive device that he planned to detonate at the home of his ex-girlfriend and her husband was sentenced Thursday to 16 years in prison.
Vernon Russell Smith pleaded no contest last month to a felony count of attempting to explode a destructive device with intent to injure, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The case stems from an incident that occurred in Lancaster on Oct. 15, 2015. [Read more here.]
Smith was pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy after making an illegal U-turn near 10th Street West and Avenue H-12.
The deputy discovered that Smith was in possession of an explosive device made from a petroleum liquid and gun powder, laced with staples, according to Deputy District Attorney Steven Mac.
Three duplexes in the area were evacuated as a precaution while deputies waited for the sheriff’s Arson/Explosives Detail to respond.
Further investigation determined that Smith planned to use the homemade bomb on his ex-girlfriend and her husband, according to the prosecutor.
The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Lancaster Station.
Previous related story: Bomb squad called after Lancaster traffic stop, 2 arrested