Woodland Man Charged with Having Homemade Explosives, Drugs Waives Hearing

CLEARFIELD – A Woodland man is facing charges after police say they found homemade explosives and large quantities of drugs in his vehicle with his juvenile son inside.

Gene William Robbins, 39, is charged by Officer Zachary S. Cowan of the Lawrence Township police with a felony count of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver.

He’s also charged with misdemeanor possession of controlled substance, use/possession of drug paraphernalia, make repairs/sell, etc. offensive weapon and endangering the welfare of children, plus five summaries.

Robbins waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday during centralized court at the Clearfield County Jail. His bail is currently set at $250,000.

The charges stem from a traffic stop that occurred at approximately 3:45 p.m. June 18 in the area of Fullerton Street in Hyde, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed with the office of Magisterial District Judge Mike Morris.

Cowan was on routine patrol and behind a silver-colored Nissan sedan, which displayed dark window tint and a burned-out brake light. After running the vehicle’s information, Cowan initiated a traffic stop.

When he approached the vehicle, Cowan saw its inspection had expired. He asked the driver to provide his driver’s license, registration card and proof of insurance, and the male advised he didn’t have any of these documents.

Cowan then obtained the male driver’s name and date of birth, and he was positively identified as Robbins. In his affidavit, the officer said he was also familiar with the defendant from his involvement in previous drug investigations.

Robbins was asked why he didn’t have any required paperwork, and he stated he’d just purchased the vehicle the day before from someone in Philadelphia. When asked for this documentation, Robbins provided a title that was still in the previous owner’s name.

When asked if there was any insurance on the vehicle, Robbins said he’d notified his insurance company of his plans to purchase a new vehicle but hadn’t provided any specific vehicle information.

Robbins reportedly appeared “shaky” and “nervous,” as he spoke with Cowan, and when asked about this, he related he had a “rough day.”  When asked about where he was going, Robbins said he planned to meet a friend at the Edgewood Apartments.

Because Robbins only provided his friend’s first name, Cowan asked for his last name, and at first Robbins claimed he didn’t know it, even though they’d been friends for years.

The officer eventually learned the full name of Robbins’ friend with whom Cowan is also very familiar with from having recently arrested him on drug-related charges, according to the affidavit.

After this, Robbins reportedly tried to change his story and began “acting suspicious.” Based upon previous information and the names involved, the officer suspected criminal activity was afoot; he subsequently requested assistance from a state police K-9 unit.

At this point, Officer Craig Kanour observed two ball-shaped, homemade explosive devices in plain view on the front, passenger’s seat. The devices were handed to the officers, and Robbins related he had a “trunk full” of fireworks as well.

Robbins opened his trunk but then refused to let police search his vehicle, however, and he and his eight-year-old son were advised to remain outside of the vehicle due to the explosives and for the officers’ safety.

Trooper Aaron Tiracorda arrived with K-9 Tom, which didn’t alert to drugs in the vehicle. However, Cowan felt this was possibly due to the large quantity of firework materials and contact was made with the State Police Hazardous Devices and Explosives Section.

It was determined that the two explosive devices weren’t legal and the PSP unit would respond to seize them. Cowan asked Robbins if the officers could search his vehicle for other explosives for their safety, and again he refused.

He was subsequently arrested for having a prohibited offensive weapon, searched and placed in a police unit. His son was released to family members who had previously arrived on-scene.

As part of the investigation, Cowan applied for and obtained two different search warrants that were executed on the vehicle.

The searches allegedly turned up two explosive devices; three cellular devices; a large quantity of crystal methamphetamine; one syringe “loaded” with an unknown substance; a container of plastic bags packaged separately with pills; a Tupperware container of approximately 90 stamp bags of heroin, one pill and one plastic bag of crystal methamphetamine; and one hotel key card.

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