Suspect arrested in Bucks Co. explosions investigation identified as David Surman Jr.

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Police arrest suspect in Bucks explosions: Trish Hartman reports on Action News at 10 p.m., June 28, 2018 (WPVI)

The suspect arrested amid the investigation into a recent string of explosions in upper Bucks County has been identified.

David Surman Jr., a 30-year old from Milford Township, faces a number of charges including possession of a weapon of mass destruction, possession of an instrument of crime and drug offenses for the alleged possession of methamphetamine.
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David Surman Jr. in custody amid bombings investigation. See raw video from June 28, 2018.



Authorities spent most of Thursday on Spinnerstown Road, detonating bombs and collecting evidence outside of Surman's chemical company, Consolidated Chemicals.

Investigators say they found a large bomb during the investigation. That device had multiple fuses and was about 18 inches in length, District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said.

"This was what we believe to be a large bomb that was capable of mass destruction, and that's why the defendant was charged with that offense," he said. A photo of that bomb was on display during a Thursday afternoon news conference. Also on display were photos of what the D.A.'s says were Surman's musings about blowing things up.

Pictured: A bomb allegedly found during an investigation that resulted in the arrest of David Surman Jr. of Milford Township.

Pictured: Drawings and musings allegedly created by David Surman Jr.



All 30 explosions happened near Surman's home and his business, Consolidated Chemicals in Spinnerstown.



There were several controlled detonations on Thursday, initiated by a bomb disposal team.

For Lester Weisel Jr. and his daughter, it was a loud day on their farm, as a bomb squad detonated four bombs on their property. The Weisel's farm is adjacent to Consolidated Chemicals and Solvents on Spinnerstown Road

Weisel recounted his conversation with authorities: "Do you mind us doing this? I'm like no. He says 'because we were going to haul it away but we really don't want to do that because...' I said 'oh, nasty stuff.' He went 'yeah.'"

For months, residents in upper Bucks were increasingly worried about more than 20 overnight explosions in multiple townships. There was a feeling of relief as word spread that police may have arrested the person responsible.

"I think it's coming to an end now. For the residents around here, we were all living on edge," said Brad Shaffer.

Neighbor Mark McNutt watched as law enforcement and hazmat crews swarmed the quiet little town, focusing on the chemical facility.

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Watch video from Chopper 6 as authorities target two locations in Milford Township in connection with an explosives investigation on June 28, 2018.


"They were taking photos of a truck in the driveway, in the parking lot - a pickup truck. They looked like they were taking samples from trees," Nutt said.

At about the same time, about three miles away, another wave of agents and bomb experts went to a residence on Old Bethlehem Pike, which is connected to the suspect. At one point items were removed by a bomb tech.

The chemical facility has been the focus of complaints in the past about what was being done there and strong odors.

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RAW VIDEO: Explosives investigation targets 2 locations in Milford Township, Pa. on June 28, 2018.



"So much so that my neighbor had some sort of complaint with the township, wanting to know what were they doing in there, and if they were using chemicals that shouldn't be using given the proximity to rest of the homes," said McNutt.

Surman's company has been embroiled in a civil legal battle with Milford Township.

Investigators worked into the evening hours and stunned neighbors came out to watch.

Authorities said they also found graphic pictures in Surman's home, one showing Surman and his girlfriend joking about setting off a bomb.

"I am very relieved and grateful to be able to come to you in a case a crime of violence has been alleged where the perpetrator was captured before any harm was done, before any lives were lost," said Weintraub.

Officials said the bombs and materials seized are being sent to labs in Quantico, VA for testing.

Surman's bail was set at 10 percent of $750,000.
EARLIER COVERAGE:
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Lawnmower trips explosive device lying in the grass in Upper Bucks Co. John Rawlins reports

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Another mystery explosion in Buck County. Watch this report from Action News at 4pm on June 8, 2018.

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Officials qualify mysterious Bucks booms as explosions: Dann Cuellar reports on Action News at 11 p.m., May 29, 2018


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