A 27-year-old Bethalto man is being charged in federal court following an explosion on April 25. Just before noon that day it is alleged Richard Lee Johnson, who originally sought treatment for what he had described as an exploding gas can in his vehicle, intentionally set off an explosive device in the area near Central Avenue and Pearl Street in Alton.
According to information provided by Alton Police, Johnson had a history of detonating explosive devices in close proximity to several people due to a dispute he had with someone who lived in the area. It is believed that at no point was the general public, outside of the immediate area of the dispute, targeted by the suspect. Johnson has been charged federally with Detonating an Unregistered Explosive Device. Additional charges may be sought as items of evidence are reviewed. Johnson remains in federal custody.