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Published on Aug 8, 2015
WHEATFIELD, NEW YORK — A former Niagara County corrections officer lost his leg when one of his homemade bombs accidentally exploded.
Michael O’Neill is being detained by federal agents who found Nazi, confederate and Ku Klux Klan paraphernalia in his garage along with seven homemade explosives.
He was flown to the Erie County Medical Center, where his leg was amputated. He remains there facing charges of possessing an unregistered destructive device.
O’Neill, 45, was living with his stepfather William Ross, 80, the chairman of the Niagara County Legislature. Ross claims he didn’t know anything about the bombs being made in his garage.
O’Neill’s lawyer said the suspect was making the bombs to get rid of tree stumps in his backyard.
U.S. Attorney William Hochul told the New York Daily News: “We begin with the presumption that making bombs is an inherently dangerous activity. When you combine that with the other imagery, we felt that was something that needed to be brought to the judge’s attention.”
“These homemade bombs are really such that they pose a danger to health and safety. The best examples of that is what happened to Mr. O’Neill himself when he was hurt by his own explosive device,” Hochul said.
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