A 54-year-old Fairbanks man was arrested early Wednesday in connection with a massive Sunday explosion that rocked a neighborhood of the Interior Alaska city and prompted a federal investigation, according to Alaska State Troopers.
A criminal complaint filed in Fairbanks, where Guy Christopher Mannino was charged with third-degree criminal mischief, says he was taken into custody at Fairbanks International Airport shortly after 6:45 a.m. Wednesday by troopers and airport police.
“A check of flight records shows multiple reservations for Mannino to leave Fairbanks,” Trooper Lucas Altepeter wrote in the complaint. “He was carrying a large amount of firearms, gold and cash.”
No injuries were reported in the explosion, which occurred at a makeshift shooting range in the Chena Ridge neighborhood at 4:15 p.m. Sunday, but was felt in numerous nearby homes.
“The explosion was of such magnitude that at least 12 residences were affected,” troopers wrote in an initial AST dispatch on the blast. “All had multiple items fall off walls and shelves some of which resulted in property damage. At least six of the residences received actual damage to the structures themselves. The blast blew out windows, soffits, vents, and other parts of the homes.”
Much of the court document cites an unnamed informant, who told investigators Tuesday that Mannino -- a federally licensed explosives dealer -- offered to show him an explosion with ordnance Mannino was planning to discard.
According to the informant, Mannino set up a charge with three types of explosives: detonation cord, boosters used to ignite less-explosive materials and Dyno AP mining explosive.
“Photos were recovered from the informant’s cell phone showing the pile of explosives confirming his statements,” Altepeter wrote. “Further, a photo shows Mannino placing det cord on the explosives. Information from the informant indicates that as much as 300 pounds of explosives were used, which pictures appear to confirm.”
At least 50 homes were within an area susceptible to damage when the blast was set off, and the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported that the Alaska Earthquake Information Center recorded the detonation as a 0.19-magnitude earthquake.
Mannino was booked into the Fairbanks Correctional Center following his arrest, as troopers continue to investigate the blast and gather information from area homeowners.
Contact Chris Klint