Posted 2/03/15 (Tue)
By Amy Robinson
Farmer Staff Writer
Last week, McKenzie County law enforcement officers responded to a report of an individual carrying firearms and knives at a Watford City RV park, which resulted in the man’s arrest and the Minot Police Department Bomb Squad being called in.
“The incident was taken care of without incident,” said McKenzie County Sheriff Gary Schwartzenberger. “We had really great cooperation with the Minot bomb squad. We’ve worked with them before and they really are a great team.”
When officers responded to the Prairie View RV Park in Watford City on Monday, Jan. 26, the suspect had fled the scene in his pickup truck. He was found a short time later hiding between two dumpsters in the residential area behind Burgerrito’s.
Dustin Swartz, 29, from Colorado, was arrested without incident and taken into custody. He was armed with a loaded handgun in a holster on his hip, multiple loaded handgun magazines, boot spikes, and a combat knife attached to a drop thigh holster. Swartz also had multiple items associated with survivalists such as hiking packs, excess water, and arrows.
In the ensuing investigation, reasonable suspicion was established that the vehicle and the camper of the arrested party might contain explosive devices or components to build explosive devices. McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office Deputies secured the vehicle and camper, and were then granted search warrants for both.
Two improvised explosive devices were found in the vehicle, and were rendered safe by the Minot Police Department Bomb Squad. Firearms were also found in the vehicle, along with a bullet-resistant vest and over 500 rounds of ammunition, along with an AR 15 semi-automatic rifle.
During an interview at the jail, Swartz indicated extremist views about sovereignty from the United States government.
According to court documents, Swartz has been charged with Terrorizing - a Class C Felony, Reckless Endangerment - a Class C Felony, and Possession of Explosives - a Class C Felony.
Participating agencies on this case included the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office, the Minot Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Watford City Police Department, the McKenzie County Ambulance, the Watford City Fire Department, and the McKenzie County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank those agencies that assisted the public for their cooperation with them during their investigation and said there was no further perceived danger to the public, as it appeared Swartz was acting alone.