LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man was arrested March 4 on explosives charges after police found fuses, “highly flammable powder” and an empty grenade body at a house where he had been evicted, according to an arrest report.
After analysis, the powder was determined to contain ammonium perchlorate — a rocket fuel ingredient — and potassium nitrate. Police say the substance was believed to be flammable black gun powder. The powder weighed 22.67 grams, according to police.
Robert Rusch was arrested about two weeks after he was evicted from a southwest valley home he had been renting. He had returned to the house to retrieve personal property when he was reported to police.
Officers responded to a burglary report and met a property owner and the owner of the property, who told them Rusch had been evicted Feb. 24, and his truck had been spotted at the house.
When Rusch was seen driving up to the property near Spring Mountain Road and Hualapai Way, officers stopped him.
According to information contained in two Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department arrest reports, Rusch adamantly denied he had done anything wrong, but answers to officers’ questions led them to believe he had been inside the house, possibly with others.
Officers found an outstanding warrant for a Nevada Highway Patrol stop near Wells, in northeast Nevada, and took Rusch into custody on charges of unlawful entry at the house, driving with a suspended drivers license, and the bench warrant for driving over the speed limit near Wells.
Officers who checked the house found that the doors were left unlocked and went inside to check the residence. After finding what appeared to be a hand grenade in the garage, officers called for assistance. A K9 unit and explosives experts were summoned.
The grenade turned out to be inert, lacking any explosives. It had been “modified by filling in the opening/void, by welding the bottom so that it may contain a flammable or explosive charge,” according to police.
Further searches in the house turned up 12 fuses, small metal pellets commonly used as shrapnel and a small plastic bag containing a black powder substance. All the items were in a small plastic container on a dresser in a bedroom. they found paperwork with Rusch’s name in a backpack in the same bedroom.
Rusch, who had been taken to the Clark County Detention Center, was rebooked on four additional felony explosives charges. He is charged with possession of components of an explosive or incendiary device with intent to manufacture an explosive or incendiary device.
Rusch’s age is not specified in the arrest reports, but his year of birth was 1980, making him 40-41 years old.
Rusch is no longer in custody at CCDC.