Buried explosives and weapons found in Puyallup

Jan 7, 2011

An informant's tip has led authorities to find four homemade explosive devices and other weapons buried at a Puyallup site.

Traffic was diverted Friday afternoon from the site on Shaw Road East and several homes were briefly evacuated. Puyallup police, federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents and members of the Pierce County sheriff's bomb squad responded.

ATF spokeswoman Cheryl Bishop says the cache may be tied to a fugitive killed in a confrontation with bail bond agents in Lakewood more than two years ago.

The News Tribune's Sean Robinson reports a 2008 confrontation may offer details of the fugitive:

 

Agents believe the cache was tied to a dead man. Bishop didn’t know his name. Today, she cited “various sources” from the investigation telling her that the man had been killed in Lakewood two years earlier by bounty hunters.

One incident fits that description: Bail recovery agents shot and killed Roberto Pupo Roque in Lakewood on May 22, 2008. Roque, 34, was a fugitive at the time. He’d skipped out on a bail bond earlier that year, subsequently robbed the bail bond office, confessed to it, and talked his way out of jail by promising FBI agents he could lead them to a military-grade missile.

Also found were detonating caps, a handgun, a shotgun, a mortar round and a 37-millimeter shell. According to the ATF's Bishop, agents are not sure where the explosives came from.

Bishop tells The News Tribune the scene was cleared by 9 p.m. Friday.