Las Vegas photographer documents journey that ended in arrest, charges of manufacturing explosives
Las Vegas photographer Scott Michael Boden expected to be baiting hooks May 26.
"Super excited. This time next week, I will be drowning worms and eating fresh fish shortly after," he wrote on Facebook May 19.
Instead, he found himself in the Oklahoma County jail, charged with nine felonies on the day he was arrested in Oklahoma City.
Boden, 41, is being held on five counts of manufacturing or possessing an explosive device and four counts of possession of an offensive weapon while committing a felony.
According to his Facebook, Boden was traveling east from Las Vegas to Toledo, Ohio, in a recreational vehicle.
"300 miles down. 1786 to go," he posted May 23 along with a photo of starry skies above Grand Canyon National Park.
On May 24, he wrote that he expected to be in Oklahoma that night from Albuquerque, New Mexico, but three tire blowouts that afternoon stalled the trip. The following evening, he wrote, "Oklahoma City by the time I am done driving tonight. Everything is going smoothly again."
Two hours and 14 minutes later, he posted his final update: "Over half way now. With gas at $2 a gallon, I'm gonna do another 300 miles and lay it down. Probably going to be in Arkansas tonight. Easy driving from there."
But at 12:37 a.m. on May 26, he was stopped by an Oklahoma City police officer on eastbound Interstate 40 near Pennsylvania Avenue after failing to signal while changing lanes, according to the probable cause affidavit.
"While conducting enforcement checks, Officer Keever became suspicious Mr. Boden was involved in some time of criminal activity. Mr. Boden gave two different locations for his destination. He stated he was traveling to Toledo, Ohio, to help his friend sell fireworks in Michigan," the probable cause affidavit states.
But inside the RV, the officer found something a little more powerful.
"Mr. Boden had at least 5 grenade bodies ... The above-listed grenades included two intact grenades. These grenades were altered from factory design," the affidavit states.
After he was arrested, Boden admitted to police that he'd been "experimenting with explosive mixtures." Officers also found three loaded pistols and an unloaded SKS rifle inside the vehicle, according to the affidavit.
On June 1, Boden was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail. No court date has been set, records show.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said he moved quickly and asked the judge for a high bond amount because Boden is a significant threat to public safety and poses a flight risk. Prater said he'd rather keep Boden in jail than allow him to reach some destination where he planned to carry out a violent act.
"We don't know what his intent is, but normal people don't drive around with grenades in their vehicles," Prater said. "He had black powder and other chemicals that could be used as oxidizers to create high explosives in the vehicle. This guy had some of the same chemicals in his RV that were used in the pressure cooker bombs at the Boston Marathon."
According to a Las Vegas television news report, Boden's house burned down in June 2016, destroying a collection of valuable antiques. KTNV reported that there were several small explosions that occurred during the house fire.
"It was reported to me that his house burning down was under suspicious circumstances and that he's been more or less transient since his home burned down," Prater said.
"Who really knows what he was going to do, and who knows how many people just like him are driving down our highways? Thank goodness for our criminal interdiction units out on our highway," he said.
On May 11, Boden posted a photo of the house being rebuilt in the lot. In the post, Boden wrote, "I almost wish I could rent it again. But then again, I think I am about done being in this city. I need some positivity around me and if I can' (sic) have that, then I want nothing around me. I can actually feel the hate that's spewing from the people of this city overwhelming my soul."
"So I am coming back to Ohio for the fireworks season and sell some of those wonderful 'Boden Fireworks,' " he wrote on May 17. "I would need to know I have sales to be sure it is worth it."