ONLY ON ABC7NEWS.COM: Oakland man charged with mailing IEDs

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- There's been an arrest in the case of someone mailing explosives to at least two homes including one belonging to an Alameda police officer. It's a story you'll see only on ABC7 News.

Federal charging documents were unsealed Thursday against 56-year-old Ross Gordon Laverty who is accused of mailing an explosive device with the intent to injure or kill.

According to the documents, this isn't his first run-in with authorities. He has a long rap sheet including drugs, arson, and weapons-related crimes.

Officials say it was his DNA already on record that led authorities to him now.

RELATED: USPS investigating after explosive device mailed to Alameda home

Neighbors on Mountain View Avenue in Oakland say they were stunned to see SWAT teams converge on Laverty's home Wednesday night.

"Six guys jumped out with the guns and everything I said 'oh god'," said Isaac Papillon, who lives nearby.

Oakland resident Richard Jung added, "I came out to take the garbage out and the whole street was covered with police."

A federal criminal complaint unsealed Thursday charges Laverty with "mailing an explosive device with the intent to injure or kill."

Law enforcement officials with knowledge of the investigation say they recovered evidence from the home on Mountain View Avenue Wednesday night.

"When I seen that up there last night I said not in this neighborhood, we don't do those kinds of things up here, but I guess we did," said Papillon.

According to the charging documents, Laverty mailed an IED to an East Palo Alto home in October with a return address of a jewelry store on the package.

Veronica Maldonado's father opened the box and suffering injuries to his hands, stomach, and ears.

"He fidgeted with it a little bit and when he did so he held it at a distance and that's when it really exploded," said Maldonado.

One month later in November, Laverty is accused of mailing another IED. This time it went to a police officer in Alameda. The officer's wife was injured when she opened it.

The return address on the package was also a jewelry store.

RELATED: USPS investigating after explosive device mailed to Alameda home

According to the charging documents and photographic evidence, the devices and packaging were similar.

Officials linked Laverty to the crimes from DNA evidence they say he left behind on the batteries he used in the IEDs.

When investigators entered it into a database it resulted in a match with Laverty's DNA submitted by the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Crime Lab since Laverty was already a convicted offender.
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