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Man Arrested In Nederland Explosive Case Described As 'Little Person'

By Rick Sallinger

NEDERLAND, Colo. (CBS4) - The man arrested in the Nederland explosive investigation is a 64-year-old who had lived in northern California, officials have informed CBS4.

David Michael Ansberry, 64, was described as a "little person" who is approximately 3 feet tall. He has a ponytail and was using crutches. He was arrested on Saturday in Chicago and is in federal custody. He was captured while getting off a plane at Midway Airport.

Officials said they believe Ansberry planted a sophisticated explosive device in front of the police station in the Boulder County mountain town on Oct. 11. After that, he is believed to have fled the state.

nederland investigation explosive copter video
(credit: CBS)

He apparently tried multiple times to use a cellphone to detonate the bomb but it did not go off.

So far, it's not clear what the motive may have been for the crime. Ansberry also had an alias. Among the avenues being investigated are the possibilities of ties with some radical group, either in the present, or the past. He may have also may have had dispute with the town of Nederland.

Ansberry was tracked down through surveillance video obtained from the Denver King Soopers located at 14th Avenue and Krameria Street and another in Lakewood where police say he purchased the cellphones he allegedly used to attempt to detonate the bomb.

According to authorites, Ansberry had stayed at a hotel in Nederland in two separate visits in October before the incident.

"Jaws on the floor and I think all of us together exclaimed, 'You know of all the people, I would not have suspected this one,'" hotel manager Caryn Ashley said.

Ansberry faces not less than 5 years, and not more than 20 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine if convicted.

"Thanks to the tireless work of this team of law enforcement professionals, a man who is charged with placing a dangerous device in a public place is in custody," said Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer in a statement. "The FBI, Boulder County Sheriff's Office, the Nederland Police Department, and the ATF pulled together, dismantled this explosive device, and tracked down the man who allegedly made and placed it. Outstanding work all around."

Additional Information From The Department Of Justice

The investigation is ongoing, but authorities believe based upon the information discovered to date that this was an isolated incident. If members of the public believe they have information regarding this incident they are asked to call the FBI at 303-629-7171.

LINK: Read The Arrest Affidavit

CBS4's Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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