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Posted: 5/30/2003 2:19:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/30/2003 2:30:31 AM EDT by mattja]
WALNUT CREEK (BCN) -- A Walnut Creek man arrested Wednesday after federal agents found a package filled with explosives addressed to him was allegedly part of an "international gun trafficking ring" in which agents were surveilling. At a 2 p.m. news conference in Walnut Creek, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents said the investigation into Steven Merenkov began in early May while they were investigating the activities of an illegal Argentinean arms dealer, according to ATF agent John Torres. Around 1 p.m. Wednesday, ATF agents walked warrant first into a United Parcel Service store near Ygnacio Valley and Oak Grove roads in Walnut Creek. Rich Welsh, the store manager, said, "They showed up with a search warrant, said there was a suspicious package and told us to get out of the store. That's all they said." Agents opened a package addressed to Merenkov, who often used UPS for shipping related to his car parts business called C-5 Corvette, which he operated out of his two-story suburban home on Fireside Court. Torres said agents were initially only expecting to "intercept some gun parts," but inside, they reportedly found three pipe bombs, which were safely detonated at a remote location by a police bomb squad. About three hours later, Merenkov arrived at the store and was taken into custody by Walnut Creek police officers, who turned him over to federal authorities. Wednesday evening, the ATF conducted a search of Merenkov's home and found two more pipe bombs in the house, 23 assault weapons, 40 firearms, two grenade launchers, thousands of rounds of ammunition and components for additional pipe bombs, Torres said today. He would not say where in the house the weapons were found. Merenkov was arraigned this morning in federal court in Oakland, according to Marti McKee, an ATF spokeswoman. According to the criminal complaint filed in court, Merenkov had also received a number of illegal assault weapons and gun kits from the Argentinean dealer. His wife grew fearful. She allegedly called authorities for the safety of herself and her children, Torres said. "Merenkov, who suffers from anxiety and depression, told her something to the effect of, 'I've been keeping a list of people in my life that have pissed me off. God help them if I get some kind of terminal illness, because I'll go out in a blaze of glory,"' according to court documents. Merenkov lives in a quiet residential neighborhood with his wife and three children. The windows in his two-story home are shuttered and overlook a large backyard. A neighbor who lives directly to the side of Merenkov family home said the news of Wednesday's arrest was "surprising." The neighbor, who identified himself only as Sid, didn't know Merenkov personally, but he said he would wave at Merenkov when he drove around the neighborhood in his Corvette. "They were a quiet family just like everyone else here," Sid said. "I don't know what he needs with all the weapons." Merenkov's family is "very traumatized by all that's happened," McKee said. As the investigation continues "more charges are likely forthcoming," Torres said. Merenkov's bail hearing is set for Tuesday. [url]www.kron.com/Global/story.asp?S=1300230[/url] Link to video [url]video.kron4.com/?clip=1197183[/url]
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 2:25:34 AM EDT
"Merenkov, who suffers from anxiety and depression,
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Jee, getting pipe bombs mailed to and from you might do that...
I'll go out in a [red]blaze of glory[/red],"'
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Maybe he was a member here? [:D]
Merenkov's family is "very traumatized by all that's happened,"
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But are happy that they get to drive the Corvette now for once.
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 2:46:52 AM EDT
He must be the guy bringing in Interordnance's FAL kits!
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 2:53:29 AM EDT
components for additional pipe bombs
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Couldn't they get anyone on that one? Say you've got a little spare pipe in the basement and a little cannon fuse in the gun cabinet. Proper household chemicals in the correct proportions... Maybe it's just the tinfoil guy in me, but something seems fishy about all of that.
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 2:53:33 AM EDT
He would not say where in the house the weapons were found.
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Who cares where in the house they were found? Someone actually asked that at a press conference or something? And the guy talking refused to answer? What's that all about? And where did he get, not one, but [i]two[/i] grenade launchers?
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 4:41:26 AM EDT
Hmmmm...looks like BATF actually arrested the right person for once, and did it without killing anyone or burning down their house. Go figure.
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 4:53:13 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 1:26:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/30/2003 1:27:22 PM EDT by u-baddog]
"Merenkov, who suffers from anxiety and depression, told her something to the effect of, 'I've been keeping a list of people in my life that have pissed me off. God help them if I get some kind of terminal illness, because I'll go out in a[red] blaze of glory,[/red]"' according to court documents. Do we know this guy ?
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 1:36:47 PM EDT
In the video, Mr. ATF says these pipe bomb components include piping, end caps, and smokeless powder. Can smokeless powder be used that way?
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 1:49:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 1:49:19 PM EDT
they reportedly found three pipe bombs, which were safely detonated at a remote location by a police bomb squad.
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i smell a rat these guys can "find a pipe bomb" on anyone anyone check over on assault web to see if it's another one of their members? ha
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 1:50:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mattja: In the video, Mr. ATF says these pipe bomb components include piping, end caps, and smokeless powder. Can smokeless powder be used that way?
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It won't produce a true HE detonation but would make a hell of a Bangalore torpedo.
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 1:53:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/30/2003 1:56:13 PM EDT by Tactus]
Originally Posted By mattja: Can smokeless powder be used that way?
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No Let me rephrase that – What you wind up with is something that goes pfft instead of BOOM!
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 2:01:45 PM EDT
[b]IT WAS NOT MEE!!!! AND I AM NOT [RED]BOG[/RED]!!![/B]
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 8:23:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Tactus:
Originally Posted By mattja: Can smokeless powder be used that way?
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No Let me rephrase that – What you wind up with is something that goes pfft instead of BOOM!
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Well actually, what you'd get would something like handloading a .223 with a case full of Bullseye powder and firing it in an AR. Great big bang and small pieces of steel flying all over the place. Not an explosion in the technical sense; rather a detonation.
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 8:54:45 PM EDT
Smokeless powder is not a Class A or B explosive but a Class C propellant. Propellants don't explode, they deflagrate, which means to burn very rapidly.
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 9:15:38 PM EDT
Quote from article: "The windows in his two-story home are shuttered and overlook a large backyard." [shock] Ohmygawd...my neighbor has shutters and a large backyard! cynic
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 10:22:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/30/2003 10:23:52 PM EDT by Garand_Shooter]
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 10:38:04 PM EDT
Yep. I kinda get the impression the grenade launchers were C&R stuff. A few of the new SKS from Yugoslavia could have the launchers and be assualt weapons as far the press is gonna report.
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 10:50:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By shamayim:
Originally Posted By Tactus:
Originally Posted By mattja: Can smokeless powder be used that way?
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No Let me rephrase that – What you wind up with is something that goes pfft instead of BOOM!
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Well actually, what you'd get would something like handloading a .223 with a case full of Bullseye powder and firing it in an AR. Great big bang and small pieces of steel flying all over the place. Not an explosion in the technical sense; rather a detonation.
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Yeah, The pressure rises inside the container until it ruptures. The strength of the container determines the force. You could do the same thing with water and a steam explosion. Do you think the BATFE would call a pipe filled with water a "pipe bomb?"
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 10:56:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/30/2003 10:58:26 PM EDT by Cableman]
This guy was a vendor at corvetteforum.com, see [url]http://forums.corvetteforum.com/zerothread?id=572417[/url]
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 11:08:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/30/2003 11:11:36 PM EDT by skullworks]
Originally Posted By TRW: Smokeless powder is not a Class A or B explosive but a Class C propellant. Propellants don't explode, they deflagrate, which means to burn very rapidly.
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Yes, but when confined within a small space such as a sealed pipe (as in this case,) the pressure will eventually have to go somewhere. That's when you get the detonation. I had friends in high school who would mix salpeter and sugar into old-style glass vials (for medications etc) then just screw on the lid and seal it with plumber's tape. Amzing enough the little morons all grew up to become big morons, still in possession of all 10 digits.
Link Posted: 5/30/2003 11:21:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/30/2003 11:21:37 PM EDT by Tactus]
Originally Posted By skullworks:
Originally Posted By TRW: Smokeless powder is not a Class A or B explosive but a Class C propellant. Propellants don't explode, they deflagrate, which means to burn very rapidly.
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Yes, but when confined within a small space such as a sealed pipe (as in this case,) the pressure will eventually have to go somewhere. That's when you get the detonation.
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It is kinda difficult to get a "sealed pipe" when you have to drill a hole somewhere for that fuze... no workie
Link Posted: 5/31/2003 3:13:45 AM EDT
Call me cynical, but it would be interesting to know if Merenkov and his wife were having marriage problems.
Link Posted: 5/31/2003 4:27:49 AM EDT
I saw his snitch wife getting into a nice late model Camaro SS. So now she gets the Vette and the SS.
Link Posted: 5/31/2003 5:33:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Tactus: It is kinda difficult to get a "sealed pipe" when you have to drill a hole somewhere for that fuze... no workie
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A large quantity of smokeless powder in a sealed vessel with a fuse will blow up quite nicely. Whether or not a bit of the pressure is wasted out of the fuse hole before the vessel ruptures is not very significant.
Link Posted: 5/31/2003 6:44:07 AM EDT
Maybe. Why would anyone get pipe bombs "mailed" to themselves? He could work on cars, but he couldn't assemble pipe bombs, and had to have someone mail them to him?? ATF had a search warrant to "intercept some gun parts?" "Gun parts" are illegal now?? And there just [i]happened[/i] to be a package containing three pipe bombs? It doesn't seem right.
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Why would he mail them to himself??? A test run, perhaps??? [:\]
Link Posted: 5/31/2003 6:52:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By IamtheNRA:
Maybe. Why would anyone get pipe bombs "mailed" to themselves? He could work on cars, but he couldn't assemble pipe bombs, and had to have someone mail them to him?? ATF had a search warrant to "intercept some gun parts?" "Gun parts" are illegal now?? And there just [i]happened[/i] to be a package containing three pipe bombs? It doesn't seem right.
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Why would he mail them to himself??? A test run, perhaps??? [:\]
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You're assuming that he's sane. What makes you think he's sane?
Link Posted: 5/31/2003 7:18:48 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/31/2003 8:47:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/31/2003 8:57:24 AM EDT by Tactus]
FALARAK A long time ago (12 years ago to be exact ) I used to know someone who was a commercial reloader. When you run the machines for about 3 hours you tend to get small amounts of powder accumulating on the stations after the powder die. About three weeks of accumulation was equal to maybe four pounds of powder. He also typically had dropped primers and mangled loaded rounds to dispose of. Often, he simply burned it. - Once or twice not[:D] The results you are describing as a "BOOM" are the sounds of the pipe rupturing and a quantity of hot gas escaping. - Do I doubt that with a little ingenuity you could make a device that would make a loud noise? No. I can tell you that roughly 4 lbs of mixed 2230S and 231 with about 100 primers mixed in, was insufficient to break a cinderblock. It did however manage to blow fragments maybe 30 ft. When you compare this to what one tannerite target will do; you begin to see the difference between a combustible deflagration and a detonation. (It is a big difference)
Link Posted: 5/31/2003 5:55:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Tactus: The results you are describing as a "BOOM" are the sounds of the pipe rupturing and a quantity of hot gas escaping.
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And in the process sending shrapnel all over the place.
I can tell you that roughly 4 lbs of mixed 2230S and 231 with about 100 primers mixed in, was insufficient to break a cinderblock. It did however manage to blow fragments maybe 30 ft.
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Okay, but what you failed to mention was how this stuff was packaged into the cinderblock. If you just poured it in there without any type of sealing it wont rupture anything (or very little.) The friends I spoke about previously took metal piping and smokeless powder and stuck it into a concrete block (the type holding signs and dividers by roads - triangular in shape, about 4'x1,5') Split that sucker in two.
Link Posted: 5/31/2003 9:37:41 PM EDT
Hey I saw some guns the face blurred out JBT's were carrying off on tv. Why the fuck are the JBT's faces blurred out? All of them were undercover huh? Some preban looking AR15 with CompM red-dot and what looked like a Serbu .50, no shit. Anyone else see the Serbu looking rifle?
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 12:39:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/1/2003 12:39:51 AM EDT by mattja]
The plot thickens... Posted on Sat, May. 31, 2003 [size=6]'I wouldn't want him mad at me'[/size=6] [b]By Kristi Belcamino CONTRA COSTA TIMES CONCORD[/b] - Federal agents Friday confiscated a grenade launcher, gun silencers and other firearm parts from a bank safe deposit box owned by a Walnut Creek man arrested this week after he allegedly mailed himself a package of live pipe bombs. Steven Virgil Merenkov, 47, has been in custody since his arrest Wednesday at a United Parcel Service store on Ygnacio Valley Road, where he apparently had gone to pick up the box of three bombs. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had been at the store three hours earlier, serving a search warrant, when they found the bombs. In a search of Merenkov's Fireside Court house, authorities said, agents found a stash of more than 40 weapons, ammunition, explosives and two grenade launchers. Twenty-seven of the guns were unregistered assault weapons. Agents had been investigating Merenkov's possible ties to an Argentinean arms dealer. The search at the Wells Fargo Bank branch Friday was prompted by agents' discovery that soon after they had visited Merenkov's home May 16, he had gone to the bank at Oak Grove Road and Treat Boulevard. On Friday, worried that they might find more explosives, agents cordoned off the bank while they looked inside his safe deposit box, said ATF spokeswoman Marti McKee. "It turns out he had a grenade launcher, firearm silencers and kits that convert semiautomatic weapons to automatic," she said. "We were very surprised to find a grenade launcher in a safety box." Agents carried the 3-by-3-foot box and several smaller bags from the bank. Public records show that Merenkov has run a series of small businesses from his home, including a business called Divers Paradise and a venture he began in 2000 called C5 Corvette Performance Center. In 1991, he and his wife, Theresa, filed for bankruptcy, public records show. Two home businesses, Custom Software Services and the Red October Bulletin Board System, were included in the bankruptcy. Records show that they had assets of $389,717 and liabilities of $346,386. One Fireside Court neighbor said the family seemed to have the latest high-tech devices in their home. The new weapons discovery would probably tack on additional charges against Merenkov, who is in federal custody, McKee said. Agents have found no indication that Merenkov was a threat to the community or was planning any kind of attack, she said. However, court papers show that Merenkov had kept track of people he didn't like. "I've been keeping a list of people in my life who have pissed me off. God help them if I get some kind of terminal illness because I'll go out in a blaze of glory," he said, according to court papers that quote statements his wife made to an ATF agent. "I wouldn't want him mad at me," McKee said. [url]www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/5984348.htm[/url]
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 1:59:26 AM EDT
While I've always dreamed of having a Corvette, I bet his C5 customers are under a magnifying glass. Eerie thought: C5 comes right after what? Also, the information on the purchases from the Argentinan guy seems odd - did the purchaser have an FFL? If not, how did he get the illegal transfers/imports done? They didn't say under which law - state or federal (or both) - they were illegal? It sounds from this & the other news accounts like the wife was feeding plenty of info to the feds. For a while. Seemingly, because of his firearms and related interests, the relationship had turned quite rocky. Or maybe it was already rocky and the firearms etc. issues were used to help smooth an impending split-up. Of course, if you find out your spouse is building pipe bombs, you are going to have to take action. If they were his creations, what or who motivated him to make them? We'll have to wait to see if the 'hit list', that his wife mentioned, exists in material form. Somebody asked about why he would send a package to himself -- in one of the news stories it was mentioned that he shipped it soon after a visit from law enforcement. So you might speculate that he was trying to temporarily hide evidence by getting it away from the house or wherever he thought might be searched. Thank God those bombs didn't go off.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 3:08:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/1/2003 3:10:33 AM EDT by ProfGAB101]
I agree with [b]Tactus[/b] on the fact that smokeless powder is very ineffective as an explosive agent for a pipe bomb, But it will go off. As for grenade launcher - all they needed to find was any tube or bushing with a 22mm O.D. and they can say it was a Grenade Launcher. I can tell you first hand horror stories about how they can combine vague facts to build a witch hunt case. And yes they once tried to convict someone of making a bomb because he put dry ice in a 2 liter soad bottle 1/3 full of water, then capped it. - The plastic bottle burst with a VERY loud report. - He was charged with a felony. Do you think I'm loosing faith in Law EnFarcement?
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 6:19:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SeaDweller: Hey I saw some guns the face blurred out JBT's were carrying off on tv. Why the fuck are the JBT's faces blurred out? All of them were undercover huh?
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ya, all of them undercover [lol]
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 10:29:38 PM EDT
I heard that they were just tossing the firearms around willy-nilly into the back of vehicles, one atop another.
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 1:14:05 AM EDT
Back in my younger days, I was at a keg party out in the country. The brothers that lived there had a pipe with a hole drilled in it for cannon fuse. First couple times we... err... I mean they packed it about 1/4 full with smokeless powder, and rammed a newspaper wad in. Then they would drop a bolt inside. I witnessed the bolt go completely through about a 3 inch in diameter tree trunk. Then... I witnessed a bolt go through one door of a '62 chevy and out the other door, only to be hung up on the head of the bolt. For the finale, they kept packing the powder in the pipe and putting more in until it was full. Then they capped the end that was previously the "barrel" of the cannon. They through it in a swamp. One of the caps blew off of it when it went off, flew just over one of my friend's heads that was ducking behind a fuel oil tank, went into the wall of the house. The brothers went inside and inspected the damage. It had gone into his parents closet after penetrating the exterior wall, and through three shirts. The party abrubptly ended.
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