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Local

Additional arrest made in pipe bomb incident

Varga: Another bomb might have been set off on the same night

DIXON – The Lee County Sheriff’s Department made an additional arrest Wednesday in connection with the pipe bomb found on two men near Dixon Correctional Center early Sunday.

Stephen E. Long, 27, of Dixon, was arrested and charged with unlawful use of a weapon after authorities received a tip that he was with Zachary W. Chaffer, 31, of Dixon, and Scott R. Williams, 32, of Sterling, when they bought the bomb.

Lee County Sheriff John Varga said it appeared that another pipe bomb had been set off in a dumpster at the time.

Chaffer and Williams were arrested early Sunday morning after Lee County sheriff’s deputies received a call from the prison about two suspicious individuals. Upon investigating, Varga said they found Chaffer and Williams to be in possession of a pipe bomb which the men said was purchased near the Beanblossom parking lot late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

The two men said they were walking by the prison en route to a party, Varga said.

The device was later detonated safely by the Winnebago County Bomb Unit.

According to Varga, the motive is still unclear.

“We’re still working on it to see what the plan was to do with [the bomb], if anything,” he said. “I’m not really sure what they were doing with it, or going to do with it.”

Chaffer and Williams remain in Lee County Jail on $50,000 bond. Long’s bond was set at $5,000; he bonded out Thursday afternoon.

All three men will appear in court on Oct. 30.

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