Bomb Parts, Marijuana, Day Care Center Do Not Mix

Hospital visit leads police to Lake Elsinore home, day care facility

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Authorities respond to a home in Lake Elsinore.

    Apparently baby-sitting, bomb making and growing marijuana could be one big family activity in Lake Elsinore.

    Benjamin Kuzelka, 23, walked into a hospital late Wednesday and told emergency personnel that he had shot his own hand, said sheriff's Sgt. Dennis Gutierrez.

    Hospital personnel determined the injury was inconsistent with a gunshot wound, and he later told sheriff's deputies he had blown off his hand while playing with explosives, Gutierrez said.

    Hospital officials tipped off law enforcement, and deputies -- along with agents from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives -- went to his home at 30524 Audelo St. That's where they found materials used to make explosives, as well as a sophisticated indoor marijuana grow, police said.

    Police Search Home (RAW)

    [LA] Police Search Home (RAW)
    Authorities respond to a home in Lake Elsinore.

    The growing operation was in half of a garage in the three-car garage  and had already yielded about a pound of buds, with the help of liquid fertilizer and heat lamps, investigators said. The alleged explosive-making activities also took place in the garage,  authorities said.

    A swastika was drawn in felt-tip pen on a wall in the 1,500-square-foot  house, and investigators also found a copy of The Anarchist Cookbook. which  includes recipes for making explosives. Agents and deputies detonated about 16 ounces of liquid explosive, which is very unstable.

    Kuzelka, who is on probation for a 2007 conviction for drug possession and marijuana sales, will be taken to the county jail when he recuperates.

    Kuzelka lost all but his thumb and half of a pinky on one hand, authorities said.

    His mother, 55-year-old Rebecca Kuzelka, and brother, 21-year-old Grey Kuzelka, were also arrested. They are being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, pending a Tuesday court appearance. They were charged with felony child endangerment, possession and manufacturing of explosives, and possession and cultivation of marijuana charges, police said.

    The mother's licensed, state-funded day care center is registered under the name Kuzelka Family Daycare (License No. 334818770).

    "We do believe that when all this illegal activity was going on, that children were present,'' Gutierrez said.

    However, no children were home at the time of the explosion, authorities said. Only five children total from low-income families are enrolled in the center.

    Authorities said they do not believe the explosives were tied to terrorism, the Los Angeles Times reported.