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Couple charged with possession of explosives without a license

Three Poulsbo police officers set up surveillance of a home in the Poulsbo Mobile Home Park on Nov. 14 and arrested a resident there on suspicion of possessing explosives without a license. - Branden Heinemann / Contributed
Three Poulsbo police officers set up surveillance of a home in the Poulsbo Mobile Home Park on Nov. 14 and arrested a resident there on suspicion of possessing explosives without a license.
— image credit: Branden Heinemann / Contributed

POULSBO — A Poulsbo couple were arraigned on charges related to explosives possession Nov. 15.

Krista Leeann Hendershot and Dennis Dale Hendershot Jr., both 43, were formally charged with possession of explosives without a license, a felony. They were both being held Nov. 18 in Kitsap County Jail on $50,000 bail each. They are scheduled to return to court Dec. 3 at 8:30 a.m.

A conviction could yield a sentence of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

According to the Statement of Probable Cause, on Nov. 14 a man driving to Harrison Medical Center, where he works, picked up a distraught woman in Poulsbo who asked to go to the hospital. En route to Harrison, the woman — Krista Hendershot — “removed an object from her coat pocket that was wrapped in purple plastic,” according to the Statement. “The female told [the driver] the device was a half a stick of dynamite with a CO2 cartridge attached to [it] and a waterproof fuse.”

The driver took Hendershot to the medical center and notified security that there was a bomb in his car. Washington State Patrol Bomb Squad removed the device and detonated it at the Bremerton Police Department range.

According to Bremerton Police Lt. Pete Fisher, Hendershot told police her husband gave her the device "to protect her from people who were harassing her or would harass her." She said there were similar devices in the couple’s home, in the Poulsbo Mobile Home Park on the corner of Caldart Avenue and Lincoln Road.

Fisher described the device as a seal bomb with six CO2 cartridges, the kind used with air pistols, taped to it. Seal bombs are used by fishermen to keep seals away from fishing boats, and require a permit from the state Department of Labor and Industries. The addition of the CO2 cartridges made the seal bomb "anti-personnel in nature," Fisher said, because the cartridges would fragment upon detonation.

Poulsbo police, Kitsap County Sheriff’s officers, state patrol troopers and an FBI bomb technician went to the home and found another seal bomb with a CO2 cartridge taped to it. No other individuals were in the home when the search warrant was served, Poulsbo Deputy Police Chief Bob Wright said. Neighboring homes were evacuated for about three hours.

Three Poulsbo police officers set up surveillance of the home and arrested Dennis Hendershot about a half-hour later as he emerged from a neighboring home and walked toward a vehicle.

Hendershot was arrested without incident, Wright said. Wright said Hendershot "is known" to Poulsbo police.

Hendershot told investigators he made the device for his wife “because she was receiving threats from someone who claimed she stole a backpack,” according to the Statement of Probable Cause.

A records check revealed that Krista Hendershot has a protection order against her husband and that he cannot come within 500 feet of her home. He was arrested two trailers spaces away, around 88 feet, according to the Statement. Because he has three prior convictions for violating a domestic violence court order, the alleged violation is a felony, according to the Statement.

 

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