Feds: South Jersey Gym Bomber Had Body Armor, Rifle, Lots Of Explosive Materials, Instructions

A South Jersey man charged with setting off a bomb outside a nearby gym last month had a "substantial" amount of bomb-making materials along with instructions, body-armored tactical vests and more, federal authorities said Friday.



Photo Credit: COURTESY: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Surveillance video shows Dwayne A. Vandergrift Jr., 35, placing an explosive device on the front door of GCity Crossfit Gym near his home in Gloucester City and running away around 4 a.m. Aug. 26, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.

The bomb detonated, knocking out the front door and shattering its glass, Carpenito said.

Federal and local law enforcement officers executed a warranted search at Vandergrift’s home two days later.

They found “substantial quantities of bomb making materials, numerous weapons, including an unregistered short barreled rifle, several tactical vests outfitted with body armor and loaded 30-round ammunition magazines, and a marijuana grow operation containing approximately 85 marijuana plants,” Carpenito said.

On his electronic devices they found that he’d “recently researched how to construct and utilize various explosive devices, including pipe and pressure cooker bombs,” the U.S. attorney said.

Vandergrift has remained in custody since the officers arrested him that day.

He’s charged with malicious use of explosives, unlawful possession of two destructive devices and unlawful possession of a short-barreled rifle.

Carpenito credited special agents and task force officers of the FBI’s South Jersey Resident Agency and the FBI’s Philadelphia Joint Terrorism Task Force with the investigation leading to Friday’s arrest.

He also thanked Gloucester City police, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Newark Field Division, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, Homeland Security Investigations and New Jersey State Police.

Handling the case for the government is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gabriel J. Vidoni of Carpenito’s Criminal Division in Camden.

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