BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — A Connecticut man found with an arsenal of explosives, firearms and ammunition in his Fairfield home is apologizing to his neighbors.
“This has been obviously a very stressful time, and I truly regret that I put everybody at inconvenience,” 69-year-old Joseph Callahan told reporters, including CBS 2’s Lou Young, following a brief court appearance in Bridgeport on Wednesday.
On Oct. 1, police responded to his Bronson Road home and discovered hazardous chemicals, up to 200 guns, tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, explosive devices and 250 gallons of jet fuel, officials said.
Callahan is charged with 112 counts of illegal possession of explosives, reckless endangerment and manufacture of bombs.
The retired chemist assured his neighbors that he didn’t intend to harm anyone with the cache of chemicals and explosives he had on hand in his million dollar home.
“I never had any malintent,” Callahan said. “I just have been at it a long time, accumulated some stuff. The quantities I can see were too large for a neighborhood. … A rocket itself will burn 50 or 60 pounds of fuel each load, so maybe I had enough to make 10 motors, and I never did it.”
Callahan’s lawyer described his client as a hoarder under psychological stress who also happens to be an amateur rocketeer licensed to handle explosives.
“I honestly do not think that there is any criminal behavior here,” attorney Richard Meehan said. “There may be an issue with respect to amounts of certain substances.”
Callahan’s lawyer also addressed the most sensational charge in the case, an allegation that his client had been making a bomb for Rolling Stones rocker Keith Richards.
“Joe Callahan doesn’t know Keith Richards, never met Keith Richards, wasn’t building a bomb for Keith Richards,” Meehan said.
“Joe had a friend who about nine years ago met Keith Richards, and Joe knew from this friend that Mr. Richards had an interest in pyrotechnics, probably because the Rollings Stones use them,” Meehan explained. “So Joe had built a small pyrotechnic device in the event that he ever met Keith Richards. That’s what he said to the police officer, so I can assure Mr. Richards that is not a problem. His is not in danger. Joe is a gentle, gentle, gentleman — a little eccentric in some of his habits, but certainly not a danger to anybody.”
Callahan is paying for the removal of the explosives and chemicals from his home at his own expense.
Meehan said his client will plead not guilty to the bomb-making charge next month.
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