A man has been arrested in connection with researching ways to make a chemical weapon, then later leaving a device inside a Wal-Mart in Oxnard, police announced Wednesday.
Martin Reyes, 31, already was in custody on an unrelated offense when he confessed Tuesday to making and hiding the device inside the retail store, according to Oxnard police Det. Rocky Marquez.
He was booked on suspicion of unlawful possession and manufacturing of a chemical weapon of mass destruction.
The device triggered a six-hour evacuation on June 18 after it was found inside the retail giant in the 2700 block of Saviers Road.
After an hours-long investigation, the department’s Hazardous Materials Team was able to render the device safe.
Wal-Mart management reported losing more than $120,000 in revenue as a result of the incident, Marquez said.
The device, he said, was capable of creating a gas that could have posed substantial health risks.
“Reyes told investigators that he conducted most of his research into the device on the Internet,” Marquez said.
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