Man arrested, facing charges, after explosives found in northwest Lincoln

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 11:15 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2023 at 9:23 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Lincoln Police Department has arrested a man they believe owned explosives that were found following a traffic stop early Wednesday morning.

According to LPD, officers have arrested 24-year-old Spenser Speidell.

Speidell is facing two counts of unlawful possession of explosive materials 1st degree.

Spenser Speidell
Spenser Speidell(Lincoln Police Department)

At 1 a.m. on Wednesday, LPD said an officer stopped a car at NW 7th St and W Cornhusker Highway after seeing that it had no license plates.

According to police, the officer made contact with the driver, a 23-year-old man, who police claim had narcotics in plain view.

LPD said the driver, who does not own the car, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine.

Assistant Chief Michon Morrow said while the officer was searching the car, suspicious devices were located and were believed to be homemade explosives.

Chief Teresa Ewins said the officer was in the military and recognized the suspicious nature of the devices. Chief Ewins added that officers go through training involving looking at suspicious devices.

“When something is suspicious like that, you need to back out because you don’t know what it is and it could be very dangerous,” Chief Ewins said.

The Lincoln Fire Department Bomb Squad responded, confirmed the hazardous nature of two of the devices and safely detonated them.

Battalion Chief Jeremy Gegg says bomb techs used X-rays to confirm that the device was explosive.

LPD said no one was hurt during this process.

Assistant Chief Morrow said from there, officers continued the investigation into the devices and soon located the owner of the vehicle, Spenser Speidell, in his northwest Lincoln apartment.

Inside the apartment, Chief Gegg said bomb techs discovered at least two more explosive devices. Residents who live at the apartment building were forced to evacuate. The area around the apartment building, NW 8th between W Cornhusker Hwy and W Saunders, was blocked to avoid traffic into the area.

The devices located in the apartment were removed by LFR Bomb Technicians and rendered safe away from the building.

No one was hurt in this process.

LPD did not specify what type of homemade explosive devices were found.

“Anything that has the ability to explode or hazardous materials, you always go on the side of caution and you want to make your scene as large as possible. That’s because you just don’t know. It really is the work later to determine what type of device it was, the components involved in that and that really determines how dangerous it is,” said Chief Ewins.

Assistant Chief Morrow said investigators are working to understand the circumstances surrounding the explosive devices and if any other individuals are involved.

LFR and LPD outside of a house near NW 8th & W Cornhusker, where at least two explosive devices...
LFR and LPD outside of a house near NW 8th & W Cornhusker, where at least two explosive devices were found inside, forcing authorities to evacuate the residents inside.(Ryan Swanigan (KOLN))