Gary Sheppard

Authorities investigate possible connection with Panaca bomber

Blasting caps and other related explosive materials found at the home of a Caliente man have raised suspicions of possible connections with the bombing in Panaca in July of last year.

County Sheriff Kerry Lee said 33-year old Gary Sheppard has been arrested in connection with the discovery of blasting caps, possession of firearm by a prohibitive person, possession of dangerous drugs without a prescription, possession of Schedule 1-4 drugs not for sale, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of an explosive device.

A preliminary hearing for Sheppard was scheduled June 17 in Meadow Valley Justice Court

Lee said Sheppard has been known to local law enforcement recently on other unrelated issues. “Over Memorial Day weekend, we got a tip from a person in Caliente that Sheppard had left blasting caps at his home.” The Las Vegas Bomb Squad was asked to respond and they subsequently exploded the blasting caps. “About two days after that,” Lee continued, “we had reports of possible additional explosives in a shed behind a home on McArthur Avenue in Caliente.”

After obtaining a search warrant and having the bomb squad come to Lincoln County a second time, they “recovered a considerable number of blasting caps, some fuse, and other things that could have been used at some point in time to build additional explosive devices, if he so chose. After the bomb squad had completed their search, we were able to go in and took computers, cell phones, hard drives, and USB memory sticks and other evidence.” Sheppard was arrested at the scene without incident.

Lee said the Nevada bureau of the FBI is now involved, doing interviews, seeking to determine if there might be a possible link between Sheppard and the bombing and suspected suicide July 13, 2016 in Panaca by Glenn Jones. “No definite link has been established,” he said. “The FBI just wants to pursue all avenues, and the possibility of this would involve much stiffer federal charges and penalties.”

He said a possible connection between Jones and Sheppard was reported by one of the witnesses who was being interviewed, “but we have not been able to confirm that as of yet and we’ll see what the FBI is able to uncover as they review the evidence our office collected.”