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Agents Suspect Earlier Sale In Explosives Case

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An image of an explosive confiscated (credit: ATF)

An image of an explosive confiscated (credit: ATF)

DENVER (AP) – One of two Colorado men charged with selling 500 sticks of dynamite-like explosives to undercover agents told an informant that he sold explosives to someone else in May, federal officials said.

James Bradley Coet, 48, of Denver is charged with unlawful acts with explosives. Authorities say he sold the explosives to undercover agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in June and July at a house in the Denver suburb of Arvada.

U.S. attorney’s spokesman Jeff Dorschner on Tuesday declined to identify the suspected buyer in the earlier alleged transaction, citing the ongoing investigation.

Dorschner said the buyer was not James Eagan Holmes, who is charged with killing 12 people in an Aurora movie theater on July 20 and rigging his apartment with explosives designed to detonate if someone walked in.

Aurora police have accused Holmes of stockpiling weapons, ammunition and bomb-making materials for weeks before the theater attack.

ATF spokesman Brad Beyersdorf called the 500 sticks “significant” but said he did not know whether agents had ever seized larger amounts in Colorado. He declined to speculate on how much destruction the entire cache could cause.

Coet and Paul Hailpern, 19, of Arvada were indicted last week on the explosives charges. Coet was arrested July 26, but Hailpern was still at large on Tuesday, Dorschner said.

Coet faces five counts of unlawful acts with explosives and one count of possession of an unregistered firearm. Federal agents allege they bought two sawed-off shotguns from Coet, along with the explosives.

Hailpern faces four counts of unlawful acts of explosives. Each count carries a sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000 upon conviction.

Coet’s attorney didn’t immediately return a call.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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