Placer residents accused of explosives theft

SACRAMENTO - Four Placer County residents are being accused of stealing about 600 pounds of explosives from a Foresthill highway construction trailer.

Karen Elaine Nichols, 34, of Foresthill, John Matthew Krause, 24, of Foresthill and Anthony Joseph Ford, 20, of Auburn entered innocent pleas Tuesday in federal court. They were held without bail.

The fourth person indicted, Floyd Duane Rutherford, 27, of Auburn, was expected to be arraigned within two weeks, U.S. Attorney Paul Seave said.

They are all charged with theft of explosives and possession and transportation of stolen explosives.

If convicted, they could face maximum penalties of 10 years in prison, three years of probation and a $250,000 fine for each charge, Seave said.

They are accused of taking the explosives from a construction site where rocks were being blasted to widen a road between last Feb. 29 and April 5.

A fifth person, Thomas Lawson Norris, 42, of Foresthill, was indicted by a federal grand jury last July. He pleaded guilty to one count of stealing explosives in September.

The explosives were found in a pit near Norris' rural property, authorities said.


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