Accused bomb-maker used drone to drop explosives on ex-girlfriend, prosecutor says
The Washington Township man suspected in a series of late-night explosions in the Slate Belt used a drone to drop explosives on his ex-girlfriend’s property, a federal prosecutor said Monday in court.
Jason Muzzicato was hit earlier this month with additional charges related to the discovery of firearms and improvised explosive devices at his home in Washington Township and his Bangor business. One count for flying a drone not registered with the Federal Aviation Administration was among the new charges.
At Muzzicato’s arraignment Monday in federal court in Allentown, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Gallagher said the alleged use of a drone to drop explosive devices on his exgirlfriend’s home warrants Muzzicato’s continued confinement. U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry S. Perkin granted the government’s request , defense attorney John Waldron said.
Waldron said his client denied using the drone to drop explosives.
“We don’t have any conclusive evidence and when my client was interviewed by the FBI he denied that,” Waldron said.
Waldron said the mobile devices used to control Muzzicato’s drone were taken by the FBI for analysis, including determining when and where the drone was flown.
A Nov. 4 trial is scheduled, although Waldron said it’s possible that the case could be resolved before then.
Muzzicato, 44, also is charged with possession of 10 firearms while subject to a protection from abuse order, possession of the guns while he was using methamphetamines and possession of illegal improvised explosive devices.
FBI agents and local police searched Muzzicato’s home on Flicksville Road in Washington Township and business June 7 looking for “destructive devices,” according to court records. Prosecutors say the devices connect Muzzicato to a series of explosions that had unnerved residents since late March. Most of the explosions happened in the southern part of the township and did not cause injuries or damage. Several unexploded devices were also recovered.
Prosecutors said at Muzzicato’s first court appearance in June that he was under the influence of meth when he was arrested and that made him a threat to the community.
“It’s hard to conjure up a more deadly or dangerous combination than firearms, explosives and methamphetamine,” Gallagher said.
Muzzicato, who owns Bangor Motor Works, has been in jail since June.
Court records show that Muzzicato was involved in a dispute with an ex-girlfriend, with each granted a protection from abuse petition against the other in 2017. The woman told a Northampton County judge that Muzzicato did something to shatter her car window as she passed him on the road last December, an accusation that didn’t stick for lack of evidence.
Court records also said residents in the area complained that someone had been vandalizing vehicles and causing road hazards by dropping nails and fluids on Bangor-area streets. An examination of Muzzicato’s vehicle showed it had been modified with dashboard switches to operate devices that could release nails, ball bearings and fluids, including paint thinner, that could damage vehicles, court records said.
A federal prosecutor said Jason Muzzicato of Washington Twp. used a drone to drop explosive devices on ex-girlfriend’s property.