Just like you’re going to Luckenbach,TX off 1376

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1142 Rocky Hill Lane, Fredericksburg, TX, site of BATFE search

When people call and say, ‘We need help. No one else will help us,’ we’re going to answer that call.” – Sheriff Parnell McNamara

Fredericksburg, TX – Nestled on a chalky hillside overlooking the country of 1100 springs, this palatial villa became the object of the scrutiny of los federales one day back in August.

Aside from the fact that it called the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad a couple hundred miles out of route, the narrative in the report is eerily familiar.

We’ve been here before, folks, just not so far away, and in the blacklands in the valley of the Brazos, not the Pedernales.

You will recall that shortly after the West Fertilizer Explosion of April 17, 2013, the McLennan County mounties learned there were “bomb making materials” stashed on a place in Hill County, just outside of the cotton gin town of Abbott. As it turned out, the owner of the place got nervous because he had done a favor for an old boy  who was an EMT and between jobs over some personal problems – a roommate of one of the emergency responders who lost their lives when the plant blew sky high in a mushroom cloud.

As lead agency on the disaster, BATFE took over the investigation and the owner of the pipe bomb making materials got a federal sentence.

Events of August 28, 2015, out in the goat weed and scrub oak near the Luckenbach trail are just as murky, according to the brief report released by Officer Michael Graham, who with Hunter Herring, Derek Russell, and Stephen Smith responded to a BATFE cry for help in serving a search warrant.

“The assistance of the Bomb Squad was requested by the ATF due to the fact that it was believed that explosive devices would be found during the execution of the search warrant.”

He reports that “the Bomb Squad located what initially appeared to be 2 completed pipe bombs and a 3rd pipe bomb that did not function as designed, but did ‘low order.'”

They x-rayed the pipes, which had the end caps in place and were drilled, but empty, and thus considered ” bomb making materials.” Then they turned the crime scene over to the Gillespie County Sheriff’s Office and the ATF.

No hate or bias is reported; no domestic violence was noted. The report is dated October 29, 2015.

On October 20, Emergency Services Coordinator Frank Patterson announced the Department of Homeland Security granted the Sheriff $118,000 to purchase a new, customized bomb squad vehicle. County Commissioners matched it with $117,000 to round out he purchase price of $235,000 total.

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