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Plastic explosive PETN, weapons-making materials found in Escondido home

November 26, 2010 |  6:38 am

Authorities have discovered blasting caps and a quantity of pentaerythritol tetranitrate, a powerful plastic explosive known as PETN, along with a huge cache of weapons-making materials at the home of an Escondido man in jail on bomb-making charges.

PETN was the explosive used by would-be shoe-bomber Richard Reid and by terrorists worldwide, officials said.

The resident of the home, George Jakubec, 54, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Serbia, is charged with possession of explosive devices, possession of bomb-making materials, bank robbery and burglary.

Jakubec has pleaded not guilty, with bail set at $5 million. Prosecutors said he is an unemployed software consultant.

The house came to the attention of authorities when a gardener was hurt in an explosion.

On Sunday, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department bomb squad entered the house, retreating after seizing evidence that included homemade grenades.

On Wednesday, the squad reentered the house, finding it "extremely cluttered, making movement and observation extremely difficult," the Sheriff's Department said.

In a storage area outside the house, authorities found containers of hydrochloric acid, nitric acid and sulfuric acid and 50 pounds of hexamine, a bomb-making material, authorities said.

"Proactive operations on site have been suspended," the Sheriff's Department said. "Explosive material and hazardous chemicals remain within the house."

Local, state and federal explosives experts are conferring about a plan to reenter the house and remove the materials. No further action is expected until Dec. 1 at the earliest.

The charges against Jakubec do not include any allegations that he had used or sold any explosive devices, according to court documents. He apparently lived alone in the home; his estranged wife attended his court arraignment Monday.

Police have seized computers at the home in hopes of determining a motive for the alleged crimes.


Man wanted in Santa Ana rape case arrested after illegally entering U.S. from Mexico

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Authorities work outside an Escondido home where they say they found a cache of weapons-making materials. Credit: Fox 5 San Diego

See more photos here.