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Orange County

No Bail for Bomb Suspect

A man accused of using the device outside Rep. Loretta Sanchez's office will stay in custody.

August 05, 2003|David Reyes

A federal judge on Monday overruled a magistrate's order that would have allowed bail for a man accused of using a pipe bomb as a weapon of mass destruction outside an Orange County congresswoman's office.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney sided with prosecutors who argued that Hai Duc Le, 34, is a danger to himself and the public and should be held in custody until his trial begins Sept. 16.

"Our position is that he does pose a danger to the community," Assistant U.S. Atty. Kevin E. Smith said.

The pipe bomb, which was filled with roofing nails, exploded June 15, injuring Le while he was inside his car parked next to the campaign office of Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove).

Investigators still had not determined whether Sanchez or a popular Vietnamese cafe nearby was the intended target.

Police said the congresswoman was helping a Le family member with an immigration matter. Her office was closed and she was not in Orange County when the bomb detonated.

Le is charged with using a weapon of mass destruction, carrying and using a destructive device, attempted arson, possession of an unregistered firearm -- in this case, a pipe bomb -- and illegally making a destructive device.

A bail hearing is scheduled Thursday for Le's brother, Hien Duc Le, 33, who is charged with being an accessory after the fact, a count related to the alleged bomb-making, and obstruction of justice for allegedly concealing evidence.

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