Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Public safety

Sarasota man arrested after Hillsborough investigation into suspicions of bomb-making

TAMPA — Hillsborough Sheriff's officials have arrested a Sarasota man they think could have been making a pipe bomb.

Kenneth William Iversen, 23, was being held Wednesday in the Hillsborough County Jail on multiple charges, including possession of methamphetamine and resisting an officer without violence.

The investigation began Feb. 5 when employees at the Home Depot store on Adamo Drive in Brandon contacted the Sheriff's Office about Iversen's strange behavior. Employees said Iversen was seen gathering items in the store that could be used to assemble a pipe bomb. When confronted by store personnel, Iversen said, "Allahu Akbar" and left, dropping a large knife, according to the sheriff's office.

Detectives with the sheriff's office began secretly observing Iversen, and watched him return to Home Depot Feb. 7 and again select items that could be used to make a pipe bomb. Iversen left the store when confronted by store employees and drove away in his 2012 Chrysler 300, sheriff's deputies said.

Two marked sheriff's vehicles followed Iversen out of the parking lot but he drove away when they attempted to pull him over. Three undercover sheriff's vehicles and a HCSO helicopter then followed Iversen to the 4900 block of South 78th Street in Tampa, where he got out of his car carrying a small tool box.

Iversen dropped the box and ran when detectives attempted to approach him, but he was quickly arrested after a short foot chase, according to the sheriff's office. Detectives found a glass pipe that tested positive for methamphetamine in Iversen's pocket and a small threaded pipe in the tool box.

Officials with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, Sarasota County Fire Department and the FBI spent 8 hours searching the Sarasota home Iversen shares with his mother, but no hazardous materials were found.

Iversen told deputies he works as an Uber driver. He was arrested Feb. 1 in Sarasota on charges of carrying a concealed firearm without a license, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia, but was released from jail on bond several hours later.

This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

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