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5 arrests after series of bombings in central California

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Posted at 7:57 PM, Mar 02, 2023

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Five people have been arrested in connection with a series of bombings in central California, and police are investigating whether the suspects have links to hate groups, authorities said.

A task force including local police and the FBI made the arrests and seized bomb-making components, firearms, methamphetamine and white supremacist paraphernalia, including Nazi flags, Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama said during a news conference Wednesday.

The bombings began Dec. 13 with an explosion in a car parked near Fresno airport. A mailbox and four other vehicles, including a car belonging to the Fresno Probation Office, exploded over the next two months, officials said. No injuries were reported.

The suspected bomber, a 44-year-old man arrested in Riverside County, faces charges including detonating an explosive device and possession of firearms. Police said the man has a criminal record and investigators are trying to determine if he has ties to white supremacist groups.

The other suspects, three men one woman between the ages of 56 and 41, face various charges including possession of bomb-making equipment, guns and meth.

Balderrama said it is too early in the investigation to determine whether a hate crime had been committed or if one was planned, the Fresno Bee reported.