Bomb squad called to Martha’s Vineyard Airport Business Park

Bomb-making material was found in two storage containers. — Photo by Steve Myrick

The State Police bomb squad disposed of bomb-making materials found Wednesday in a storage facility at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Business Park.

Edgartown Police believe that Jobian Kerr, 31, a Canadian national, stored the material and that he intended to use it to cause harm. Mr. Kerr had lived in Tisbury at one time and was listed as the lessee of the storage unit.

“He was getting the stuff over the Internet, with the intention of making pipe bombs,” Edgartown Detective Sergeant Chris Dolby told The Times. “We had no indication that he actually made a bomb. He had all the ingredients.”

State Police transported the material to a dirt track used by motocross riders near the business park. Bomb squad officers used fire and explosives to destroy the material. Edgartown and airport fire personnel were on hand, along with EMTs.

Edgartown Police said they will file a criminal complaint in Edgartown District Court against Mr. Kerr and seek an arrest warrant for possession of explosive substances or materials.

Martha’s Vineyard Airport manager Sean Flynn said flight operations were not disrupted.

Police learned of the explosives when Mr. Kerr’s ex-fiancée went to Edgartown District Court to seek a restraining order against him. The woman told court officials that her estranged ex-fiancé might have bomb-making materials in a storage unit at an airport mini-storage facility. Police asked the newspaper not to identify the woman, because they said she fears for her safety.

“She also reported that he has been previously charged with threatening to blow up a building in Holyoke,” according to a police statement. Police investigators confirmed that Holyoke District Court had issued a complaint against Mr. Kerr for making a bomb threat.

“She explained further that Kerr was still in Canada where they had been residing together,” police said. “As a result of a domestic disturbance between the two, Kerr was charged in Canada and not allowed to leave the country until recently, which is why, she told police, she is now seeking a restraining order in the U.S.

Alerted by court officials, Edgartown police spoke to the woman, and she agreed to take police to the storage lockers. “She led investigators to the storage unit, where she pointed out the suspect materials,” police said. “Investigators contacted the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad and informed them of the materials involved. Investigators were advised that the materials were hazardous and in fact bomb-making materials.”

Police also alerted the FBI.

The bomb technicians arrived on the Island Tuesday afternoon with two specially equipped trucks and a support vehicle. Shortly before 6 pm Tuesday evening, Edgartown police and bomb squad personnel executed a search warrant at the storage unit. There they seized boxes full of bottles and containers containing hazardous chemicals that could be used to construct a bomb.

At 1 pm Wednesday, the bomb squad transported the seized material to a dirt track near the business park used by motocross riders and safely disposed of the seized chemicals there.

Bomb squad technicians preserved some of the materials as evidence. “What they do is take samples of all the seized materials, and the excess material they destroy,” Det. Sgt. Dolby said. “They blew up a couple of things, and they burned the rest.”

Court order issuedEdgartown District Court issued a temporary abuse prevention order on Tuesday afternoon, April 17, at the request of Mr. Kerr’s former fiancée, who told the court she was assaulted twice.

A hearing is set for Friday, April 20, to determine whether the court should extend the prevention order.

The temporary order requires Mr. Kerr to have no contact with the woman and to stay at least 50 yards away from her house and her workplace. The court order also requires Mr. Kerr to immediately surrender all guns, ammunition, gun licenses, and firearms identification cards to Tisbury police.

In her affidavit, the woman wrote that in May, 2011, Mr. Kerr assaulted her and threatened a witness on Martha’s Vineyard.

According to court records, Mr. Kerr was arrested in May of 2011, and sentenced to one year of pre-trial probation, after a June 10 appearance in Edgartown District Court.

In her affidavit, the woman said she later reconciled with Mr. Kerr. She said he assaulted her again while on a trip to Breton Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada.

“He severely lashed out physically, causing deep contusions, and slit my fingers, resulting in nerve damage,” the woman wrote in her statement. “This was a premeditated, brutal act of violence.”

The woman said Mr. Kerr was detained in Canada, where he faced the assault charges in court this week. She said she feared he would soon return to the United States.


3 pm, April 20

The first name of Mr. Kerr has been changed from Jobian, the name provided in a police press release, to Jovian, the name that appears in court documents and previously published material.