– An Aromas man who was arrested for allegedly stockpiling
dozens of explosive devices on his property, including two empty
rocket launchers, could be facing federal charges.
HOLLISTER – An Aromas man who was arrested for allegedly stockpiling dozens of explosive devices on his property, including two empty rocket launchers, could be facing federal charges.
Jeffery Dean Trebler, 38, of 348 Seely Ave. could be charged with federal weapons violations for reportedly burying approximately 60 various explosive devices around his property, the San Benito County Sheriff’s Department said.
The alleged store of explosives was discovered when deputies responded to a domestic dispute call between Trebler and his wife, the sheriff’s department said.
After Trebler was booked into the county jail on the domestic violence charge, his wife reportedly told deputies that he had been storing a number of guns and explosives in the garage area. She also told investigators about the additional explosives Trebler had buried on their property.
“It’s amazing how something that started out as serious could even expand beyond that,” Sheriff Curtis Hill said.
He applauded the initiative of his deputies in following up on the wife’s accusations.
“The deputies did a really good job on this one,” Hill said.
Trebler, who works as an explosives technician for the Department of Defense out of Fort Ord, has allegedly been collecting various explosives from work and taking them home for nearly a decade.
As part of his job, Trebler worked in the U.S. Army’s Amnesty Program, under which anyone could go to Trebler and turn in old or possibly dangerous explosives. He was supposed to store the explosives in the Seaside base’s munitions warehouse,
Instead, Trebler was reportedly taking home the explosives and fireworks that interested him, the sheriff’s department said, and storing many of the explosives in military-style ammunition boxes and burying them around his property.
To find the explosives, which included several large Chinese- and Mexican-made fireworks, the Department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the bomb squad from Moffet Field were called in to help dig up and dispose of the ordnance.
Investigators with the Army’s Criminal Investigations Division also assisted in the recovery of the explosives and to collect evidence for possible federal misappropriation violations.
The explosives reportedly recovered from Trebler’s property included more than a dozen blasting caps, detonator cord, several hand grenades and multi-purpose firing devices, an 81-millimeter mortar and mortar propellant and two unarmed anti-tank rocket launchers.
Investigators also reportedly discovered a small cache of firearms hidden in Trebler’s garage. The firearms include a Glock 9-millimeter handgun, a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, a Browning .22-caliber rifle, a Winchester 30-30 rifle and a high-powered Rohm rifle.
The case has been forwarded to the San Benito County District Attorney’s office for possible charging.
A copy of the investigation has reportedly been sent to the Army for additional review.