Aaron Hinke

Aaron Hinke

An alleged homemade explosive device that was found by law enforcement officials at 146 Main Street in La Motte last September has led to a federal complaint being filed against a La Motte man.

Aaron J. Hinke, 45, was slapped with the federal charge of possession of a destructive device not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. As a result, the original state charge of possession of an explosive device with intent was dismissed.

The discovery of the device, a subsequent investigation by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office last fall, as well as the State Fire Marshal, eventually led to the arrest of Aaron Hinke, age 45 of 104 South Main Street in La Motte.

Federal court documents disclose that the 5-year-old daughter of the reporting party, identified in court documents as Kaleb Bee, first located the explosive device behind his woodshed at 146 S. Main St. in La Motte on Sept. 6 and told him about finding a “Looney Tune bomb.”

Bee picked up the item and placed it on a stump, at which point he noticed there was a “mortar-style firework” taped to a gas can that had gas inside of it. A partially burnt cigarette was taped to the fuse.

According to a press release sent to media by the Sheriff’s Department last September, officials from the State Fire Marshal’s Office first diffused the explosive device making it safe for deputies to finish the initial investigation at the scene.

Evidence collected during the investigation, including text messages, resulted in Hinke becoming a ‘person of interest,’ and a search warrant was granted for 112 South Main Street in La Motte. Law enforcement and State Fire Marshal officials executed the search warrant and located Hinke, whose address is 104 South Main Street.  Several items were seized and placed into evidence.

Initial court documents indicate that Hinke placed the explosive device near a woodshed owned by Kaleb Bee at 146 South Main Street in La Motte at about 3 p.m. Sunday and that he admitted to doing so in text messages that he sent to Bee.

The Sheriff’s Department reported that, when questioned, Hinke admitted to making the device and placing it where it was found.

Hinke was transported to the Jackson County Detention Center in Maquoketa and has since faced federal charges.