REDWOOD CITY -- A Brisbane man faces felony charges after police responding to a domestic argument found 145 pounds of explosives and $37,000 in cash stuffed into a closet at his home, authorities said.
William Harrell, 46, pleaded not guilty on Thursday in San Mateo County Superior and remains behind bars after being ordered held in lieu of $500,000 bail, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
Authorities said it's not clear what he planned to do with the explosives or where he got them. The materials were not set to detonate, investigators said.
An argument about 8 p.m. Monday drew police to the home on the 100 block of Cliff Swallow Court that Harrell shared with his girlfriend and her two children, authorities said. Harrell ended up agreeing to leave the home for the night, but as he was pulling away in a taxi, the girlfriend called police back into the house, Wagstaffe said.
She led them to a locked closet which she believed may contain guns, Wagstaffe said. The woman unlocked the door with a key she had made due to her concern over the possible firearms and her children. Inside authorities found 145 pounds of explosives, mostly dynamite, a pound of marijuana and $37,000 in cash.
Investigators called in the San Mateo County bomb squad to deal with the explosives, Brisbane police Cmdr. Robert Meisner said. The materials didn't pose a threat to the neighborhood, so people were not evacuated, he added. It wasn't immediately clear what was done with the explosives.
The girlfriend also told police Harrell was a Sovereign Citizen, which is an extremist group with an anti-government ideology, said Wagstaffe. According to the FBI, people identifying with the movement have killed six law enforcement officers since 2000. However, Meisner said police found no evidence that Harrell is a Sovereign Citizen or is tied to any extremist group.
Harrell is due back in San Mateo County Superior Court on Oct. 11 to face one felony count each of possessing explosives, having marijuana for sale, child endangerment and possessing explosives near a residence.
Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.