Patrick Wagner, Minot, pleads not guilty to setting off pipe bomb

Patrick Michael Wagner, 37, Minot, pleaded not guilty on Monday to a charge that he set off a pipe bomb in rural Minot on April 7 and that he was in possession of bomb making materials.

Wagner is charged with Class B felony endangering by fire or explosion and Class C felony possession of bomb making materials in district court in Minot.

According to testimony in court on Monday and a probable cause affidavit, a Ward County Sheriff’s Deputy was on patrol when she spotted a fire in a roadside ditch at 55th Street NE in the area of 19th Street NE at 5:17 p.m. that day. She saw a gray 1990s model GMC Sierra pickup leaving the scene of the fire. She turned around and heard an explosion from the fire, which was put out by the Minot Rural Fire Department.

Further investigation and analysis led to Wagner, who reportedly purchased a galvanized pipe at Menards and a one-pound container of gun powder at Scheels and had been staying at the home of the owner of a GMC pickup in southwest Minot.

Wagner’s lawyer, Ryan Sandberg, argued during the hearing that there is no proof that Wagner was driving the pickup, as the deputy could not clearly see the driver, or that he set off a pipe bomb. There were also no nearby houses at the site of the explosion.

Judge Stacy Louser found probable cause to let the case move forward and Wagner entered his not guilty pleas.

A pretrial conference in the case is scheduled for Aug. 21 before Louser.