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Texas paramedic will plead not guilty to federal weapons charge

May 15, 2013|By Michael Muskal

A Texas paramedic arrested last week will plead not guilty to a federal charge of having bomb-making materials and will waive a formal arraignment on a new federal indictment, it was reported Wednesday.

Bryce Reed, who was among the emergency crews that responded to a deadly fire and explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, was scheduled to appear at a detention hearing and arraignment Wednesday afternoon. Reed has not been linked to the April 17 disaster that killed 14 people and injured more than 160.

Wednesday’s federal proceeding was canceled, Jonathan Sibley, a lawyer for Reed, told reporters in Texas, according to media reports.

Reed remains in custody.

A federal grand jury has charged Reed with one count of unlawfully possessing an unregistered destructive device, pipe-making material including a section of pipe, fuses and explosive powder, federal officials said. He faces as much as 10 years in prison, if convicted.

“Mr. Reed vigorously denies those allegations and will be entering a plea of not guilty during his court appearance,” attorney Sibley said in a statement.

 “Mr. Reed has been through significant hardship in the wake of the disaster in West and he has responded and served his community with honor and strength,” the attorney said.

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