Deputies search Lodi storage facility in connection to explosive device thrown at funeral in Stockton

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LODI, Calif. (KTXL) – San Joaquin County deputies searched a Lodi storage facility Tuesday looking for possible explosive devices or materials after the search of several homes Monday where guns and explosives were recovered in connection to an explosive device that was thrown during a funeral Saturday in Stockton.

“This all stemmed from Saturday’s events where an explosive was thrown outside of a church,” San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Alan Sanchez said.

Deputies arrested 50-year-old James Towles Sunday after they say he led them on a chase that ended in a collision.

The sheriff’s office said deputies found an explosive device in the car, which led investigators to a Stockton home Sunday night. 

“At that point, we were going to look at any ties that he may have in any other homes, any other storage units,” Sanchez said.

On Monday, deputies called in the FBI to help search a home along West Sonoma Avenue where guns and explosives were recovered.

There investigators arrested 65- year-old Russell Altheide who allegedly lived at the home. 

Deputies believe Altheide was Towles’ accomplice. 

“What concerns us, is the fact, the amount of explosives that were found at the house that’s associated with the arrestees,” Sanchez told FOX40. “Who knows how long they’ve been keeping all this stuff. And what was the purpose of keeping so much material that was very dangerous to a very populated area in Stockton.”

Further investigation led deputies to a Lodi storage facility Tuesday morning. 

“We went inside here. We did a search of the place and they came up with negative results, but we made sure that we went through each tub, and each tote and each boxes with care,” Sanchez said.

While the search of the storage unit came up empty, deputies say there may be raids on other locations to come.

“So the investigation is not over. It is going to continue. We are going to search every spot associated with the arrestees until we feel we’ve completed our investigation,” Sanchez explained.

Investigators say they aren’t calling Saturday’s attack domestic terrorism and believe it stemmed from an argument Towles had with a family outside of the church. 

Anyone who has any additional information about the suspects, is asked to call the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office. 

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