Bomb-making suspect pleads not guilty, is ordered held without bail
George Jakubec pleaded not guilty in San Diego federal court Monday to charges of possessing bomb-making materials and bank robbery.
Magistrate Judge Ruben Brooks ordered Jakubec held without bail as a flight risk and a danger to the community. A hearing was set for Jan. 18 to set a possible trial date.
Jakubec, 54, a Serbian emigre and naturalized U.S. citizen, was arrested Nov. 18 after authorities discovered a large amount of materials used in bombs like those fashioned by terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan to kill U.S. troops.
In a jailhouse interview with sheriff's deputies, Jakubec admitted robbing three banks and attempting to rob a fourth. He is now at the federal prison in downtown San Diego.
Once federal charges were filed, the state charges against Jakubec were dropped. The federal charges cover the same alleged crimes and carry a longer prison sentence if he is convicted.
Meanwhile, work continued Monday to prepare for burning the house Jakubec was renting just outside Escondido, as a method of destroying the dangerous materials inside. The controlled burn, ordered by the Sheriff's Department and to be monitored by the San Marcos and Escondido fire departments, is set for this week, depending on weather conditions.
A protective wall was built on the north side of the property and vegetation is being cleared, officials said. The California Department of Toxic Substances Control has agreed to pay for the cleanup once the fire is out.
Neighbors will be given 24 hours' warning to evacuate. Deputies remain on the site, on Via Scott, a dead-end street, to prevent injuries to the curious as the site is being prepared.
-- Tony Perry in San Diego