Grand Junction man accused of possessing explosive device

A Grand Junction man who just completed a sentence for attempting a “Columbine-type” attack on Palisade High School was advised of new bomb-related charges on Wednesday.

Robert Dell Johnson, 21, was jailed earlier this week on suspicion of possession of an explosive or incendiary device, a class 4 felony.

Deputies with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department were alerted by a friend of Johnson’s from Alabama, who told them he was concerned for Johnson because he allegedly said he planned to make some pipe bombs and “was going to kill everyone,” according to Johnson’s arrest affidavit.

Coincidentally, a fellow Palisade High School student in 2009 alerted police when Johnson approached him asking if he could help Johnson obtain explosives so he could target the school in a “Columbine-type” assault because he was being “messed with by ‘jocks’ and an ex-girlfriend,” the affidavit says.

Johnson, then 18, eventually pleaded guilty to possession of an explosive/incendiary device and interference with a school. He completed his sentence for those convictions on Aug. 13.

Prior to that release, jail reports indicated Johnson is manic depressive and bipolar, the affidavit said.

In the new case, deputies obtained a search warrant of Johnson’s Countryside Lane home after viewing Facebook messages from Johnson saying such things as, “death I can’t wait hell I can’t wait,” and “death is coming soon to all lololololol.”

In an interview with deputies, Johnson said he had no intention of hurting anyone, and those Facebook comments actually were lyrics from bands such as Hatebreed, a punk-like band formed in 1994.

Johnson also said he was upset because of the recent death of his mother and his breakup with his girlfriend, according to the affidavit.

In Johnson’s home, members of the Grand Junction Bomb Squad confiscated such things as a black tube containing ball bearings, a gray box containing reloading equipment, a powder loader, a green fuse and firecrackers, according to the arrest affidavit.

On Wednesday, Johnson was advised of the new charges against him and released on a $50,000 co-signed personal recognizance bond, ordered to wear an ankle bracelet to monitor his movements and told to stay away from any District 51 school.

No trial date has yet been set.


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