Donald Paul Busteed's Guilty Plea to Pipe Bomb Incidents Marked with a New Blast

Police and prosecutors say Donald Paul Busteed remains a serious threat to public safety.EXPAND
Police and prosecutors say Donald Paul Busteed remains a serious threat to public safety.
Anaheim Police Department

Less than three days after a 45-year-old man received a controversial sentence for making and exploding pipe bombs throughout Anaheim, an explosive device blew up two miles from where he'd detonated a bomb on March 27.  

Donald Paul Busteed of Anaheim pleaded guilty Friday to a court offer of three felony counts of possession of a destructive device in a public place, one felony count of explosion of a destructive device and one felony count of intent to unlawfully make a destructive device.

Cops and prosecutors were fine with that, but not the sentence the judge handed down.

"Over strong objections on the record by the People and Anaheim Police Department, Busteed was sentenced to three years in jail," reads an Orange County District Attorney's office statement.

The maximum sentence for the criminal counts Busteed copped to is 10 years and eight months in state prison, according to the OCDA.

"Busteed has demonstrated his propensity to commit these crimes and remains a serious threat to public safety," said Anaheim Police Sgt. Daron Wyatt. "We would have hoped for a more appropriate sentence given the defendant's continued conduct after accepting the court's previous offer, which resulted in only 46 days in custody."

That was for placing pipe bombs ready to go off in Anaheim—in a Lowe's Home Improvement parking lot in late November and an alleyway in early December—that witnesses spotted and the Orange County Sheriff's Department bomb squad dismantled—and for one of Busteed's bombs exploding Dec. 31 at a business on East White Star Avenue.

He pleaded guilty Jan. 19 to a court offer of one felony count of intent to unlawfully make a destructive device and one felony count of possession of a destructive device, and he was sentenced to 90 days in jail. But, as Wyatt indicates, Busteed was out after 46 days.

On March 27, while on probation, Busteed detonated a pipe bomb in an alleyway near Anaheim Boulevard and Wilhelmina Street. Anaheim cops  investigated, searched Busteed's residence the next day and found additional pipe bomb devices and various materials necessary to construct pipe bombs in his garage before arresting him. 

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That location is about two miles from the 99 Ranch Market at 651 N. Euclid St., Anaheim, where a homemade explosive device blew up just after midnight today. The market is also about five miles or less away from the scenes of the other pipe bomb incidents that led to Busteed's conviction.

Today's blast created a loud boom and started a small fire behind the business, according to Wyatt.  Firefighters extinguished the ivy fire in about five minutes. The building sustained minor damage.

Investigating officers found a can duct tapped to the bottom of a mortar tube that had had an explosive inside, said Wyatt, who added surveillance footage is being sought.

There is no suspect description yet, and anyone with information that can help investigators is asked to contact Orange County Crime Stoppers, even anonymously, at 855.847.6227 (855-TIP-OCCS), via occrimestoppers.org or by texting to 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S) from a cell phone. (All text messages should begin with the letters "OCCS".)


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