Thread: Haz Mat in the mail...
09-05-2004, 12:57 AM #1
Haz Mat in the mail...
Ah, memories of High School...Chemistry teacher had to apologize to the painters up on scaffolding on the old Academy building after he demonstrated the effect of sodium in water. Big boom...some very scared painters I suppose they're probably not allowed to do that in High School in today's kindler, gentler age of education. Especially more I think about we had a really good science program and I learned all the skills one would need to make a meth lab while still a Freshmen.
Hazardous Material Shipment Leads To Arrest
September 4, 2004
By HILDA MUŅOZ, Courant Staff Writer
BERLIN -- An ordinary-looking cardboard package shipped to a Berlin family in March sparked a federal investigation that led to the arrest of an Alaska man.
Krister Sven Evertson, 50, will stand trial in U.S. District Court in Anchorage on three felony charges of illegally shipping hazardous materials to several states across the country. His next court date is set for Sept. 27.
The package that arrived at the Bobrowski residence on Kramer Drive contained sodium, a highly combustible metal regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Kevin Bobrowski, a college student, ordered 520 grams of it on eBay in February.
Sodium ignites and could explode when exposed to water or moist air. A half-pound - about 228 grams - of the metal could explode with the force of "the average car bomb," federal officials said. Bobrowski bought more than twice that amount of sodium.
Because of that danger, the U.S. Department of Transportation has specific packaging, labeling and transportation requirements for shippers. Among them, boxes containing metallic sodium should have labels and placards warning of its risks.
Bobrowski's mother, Pam, received the package for her son at their home and was puzzled that the box had no labels or warning placards identifying what was inside.
So she called her son at college and asked him what he had bought. He told her it was sodium, a metal. When she learned that it could ignite when wet, she called Fire Marshal Steven Waznia.
Waznia forwarded the package and metal to the federal Department of Transportation after he had tested a tiny piece of the metal in water and watched the substance ignite.
"It should have the proper labels identifying the product and the hazards related to it," Waznia said. He found the material had been wrapped in plastic and placed in a paint can for mailing. The metal should have been stored in an airtight container.
An FBI investigation followed and led authorities to Evertson in Wasilla, Alaska. The Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation also took part in the probe, which led to Evertson's indictment in June.
"It's not illegal to own sodium metal, but if you're going to ship it you have to label it properly," Eric Gonzalez, spokesman for the FBI in Anchorage, Alaska, said Thursday.
A woman who answered the door at the Bobrowski residence declined to comment for this story.
An FBI affidavit does not say where Evertson got the sodium - a soft, silver-white metal that explodes when exposed to water or moist air - or what his customers intended to use it for.
However, Robert Burnham, an assistant special agent with the FBI in Anchorage, said in an interview Friday that Evertson purchased the volatile chemical from a source in a foreign country.
Sodium could be used in manufacturing chemicals, pharmaceuticals, fragrances, organic compounds and metals. It is also an ingredient for methamphetamine and improvised arson and explosive devices, according to an FBI affidavit.
Under the user name "vial-of-life," Evertson allegedly sold 37 of 89 batches of sodium that he advertised on eBay between Sept. 16, 2003, and April 10, 2004.
Following his arrest, the FBI told authorities in Lemhi County, Idaho, that Evertson stored some sodium at a farm supply store there, Burnham said.
IACOJ Canine Officer
09-05-2004, 06:52 PM #2
I remember seeing that in Chemistry. Neat to watch with a small piece... Wouldn't want to see it when a whole bunch of it gets wet......
09-07-2004, 08:39 AM #3
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- Flanders, NJ
You may be surprised at what you can find on a truck that carries a DHL, FedEx or UPS logo. Look at this:
Any domestic shipper's vehicle should be approached with the same caution as one with a DANGEOUS placard.
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