PITTSBURGH—A northwestern Pennsylvania man has been jailed on charges he was making explosives at home after a tipster told police they saw him buying items at a hardware store that could be used to make a pipe bomb.

Eric Cramer, 44, of Bradford, was arrested Monday night after local police and agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives raided his home, The Bradford Era ( http://bit.ly/HdrxZu) first reported. Bradford is about 120 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, a few miles south of the New York border.

Officials evacuated Cramer's apartment building and called in a bomb squad while arresting him.

Cramer remained jailed unable to post $300,000 bond. A two-paragraph probable cause affidavit attached to a criminal complaint provided few details about how police learned of the explosives, and no information on how or whether Cramer planned to use them.

Inside Cramer's residence, police and federal agents allegedly found a foot-long PVC pipe with end caps, a container of ball bearings, a cellphone with a relay detonating device, along with instructions and chemicals used to make bombs including acetone, suspected ammonium nitrate, and flash powder.

Bradford police Chief Chris Lucco said in a statement Monday that authorities also found bomb-making materials and instructions in a storage locker Cramer leased, but the criminal complaint obtained by The Associated Press doesn't mention those items.


Bradford police on Tuesday referred questions to McKean County District Attorney Raymond Learn, who didn't immediately return calls for comment.

Online court records don't list an attorney for Cramer who last year was sentenced to 154 days in jail and three years' probation for a December 2011 incident in which he allegedly put a GPS tracking device on a woman's vehicle and was following her with an explosive device in his pickup. Cramer contended the device as a large firework.

Cramer was said to be suffering from mental health and substance abuse problems when he pleaded guilty last year to possessing explosives and stalking in the 2011 incident. He was sentenced to 30 days to six months in jail in August 2012 after pleading guilty to drunken driving charges stemming from an unrelated traffic stop in May 2012.

Cramer faces a preliminary hearing Thursday on charges of unlawfully possessing or manufacturing a weapon of mass destruction, risking a catastrophe, possessing a prohibited offensive weapon, and recklessly endangering other tenants in his building.


Information from: The Bradford Era, http://www.bradfordera.com