Waltham High School Security Guard Arrested with Bomb Materials [VIDEO]

The suspect allegedly admitted to stealing the materials from Waltham High School.


A 23-year-old man who works as a security guard at Waltham High School was arrested on Wednesday after police found bomb-making materials in his car, according to Leominster Police.

Leominster Police arrested Jesse Holland of Gardner at 1:16 a.m. after finding chemicals police say could be used to make a bomb, according to Leominster Police Sgt. Ryan Malatos. Holland faces the following charges: possession of a stun gun, possession of a class A drug and possession of an infernal machine (bomb-making materials). The suspect was arraigned in court on Feb. 27 and was ordered held pending a dangerousness hearing, according to a joint press release from Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy and Waltham Public Schools Superintendent Susan Nicholson.

The materials were allegedly taken from the chemistry storage room at Waltham High School, according to the press release. 

For more details, see the video of the mayor commenting on the issue in the photo box to the right.

The suspect works for Command Security Corporation with which the Waltham High School contracts security services, according to the release. Malatos said Holland patrols the inside and outside of the high school and has keys to the building. 

Holland was arrested at 1:16 a.m. after an encounter with a Leominster Police Officer. The officer was checking a building at 120 North Main St. when he noticed a car parked, with its lights off, in the parking lot of a Barnes & Noble at the Watertower Plaza, according to Malatos. The officer activated his spotlight and noticed Holland popup from the driver seat where he appeared to be moving around. Holland quickly exited the car and started moving toward the officer and “because of the circumstances and how he made the sudden movement," the officer ordered Holland back to the car. The officer approached the car and noticed a large metal hatchet and electric stun gun in the front area of the car. The officer also said he found a class A drug.

Officers say they searched the car and found several substances in the trunk, which police said could be used to make a bomb or incendiary device, according to Malatos. The items included an open bottle of aluminum powder, an open container of iron powder, a coil of rusted wire and an emergency jumpstart battery.” Officers suspected the materials could be used to make a bomb. A Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad Officer later confirmed that suspicion.

Holland was arrested and taken to the Leominster Police Department where he allegedly admitted to taking the bomb-making materials from Waltham High School, according to Malatos. The materials were allegedly taken from the chemistry sotrage room, according to the press release. 

Waltham Police and Leominster Police are investigating the incident, according to the joint press release. 

SCOWE DAVIDC February 27, 2013 at 11:24 PM
What kind of chemistry experiment is that kind of stuff used for that the school even needs it? I doubt the security there would have a key for a storage area. Dont they patrol the halls? With everything going on lately in the schools across the country you would think we would have a little better lock on a door for that material. The worst thing anyone can do is assume that, "it cant happen here".
moe howard February 28, 2013 at 12:31 AM
Congrats Waltham....we are officially Lawrence
Ryan Grannan-Doll (Editor) February 28, 2013 at 12:49 AM
@Moe, Moe, I think your comparison is totally off-base. The issues in the Lawrence schools are with the quality of the education, not the security of the school system.
Coronada February 28, 2013 at 01:38 AM
Ryan: The quality of education in Lawrence is good and they have some of the newest buildings in the state. The problem in Lawrence is lack of respect!
Gary Benninger February 28, 2013 at 04:30 AM
Aluminum and Iron powder doesn't make a bomb. It's used to show an exothermic reaction to the students among other thing. The rail road uses it to lay track. Google Thermite some time. Saying that it's for a bomb is blowing things out of proportion and misinformation. Why not focus on the real issue that he stole from the school instead of turning this into something about bombs.
Karen Walz February 28, 2013 at 04:12 PM
I hope this invalidates the city's contract with Command Security Corporation. It appears to me that their standards are very low and vetting insufficient.
Aron Levy February 28, 2013 at 10:35 PM
Gary is telling the truth. This are essentially the ingredients for thermite. For which there are legitimate purposes. He still needs to be severely disciplined for his actions. This man is very likely not a mad bomber. Just a fool.
SCOWE DAVIDC February 28, 2013 at 11:14 PM
Im confused. I know nothing about chemistry. Can you build a bomb or some destructive device with that stuff? Why would the SP say that the material could be used for that reason? I seriously doubt this kid was planning on expanding the local train station into his back yard. I agree, this whole thing is probably a bit blown out of proportion. My kid has that stuff in a magnet game. Last I checked, there hasnt been any explosions in the park. The problem is the City hired a security company that ripped us off. If you put in an application with the City, you have to agree to a CORI check. Its something about your background and if you have a police record. Do they also require that on subcontractors? I think a security company should have been sent thru the mill before they were even allowed to put in a bid for the job. Where else does the City use this company? You wouldnt hand over the keys to your house to someone without checking them out first, would you? Then again this could also be one of those "I'm hiring them regardless if anyone agrees or not". That has happened on quite a few occasions within the City.
Tina March 01, 2013 at 02:02 AM
Command Security should fire this thief. And Waltham should reconsider hiring this company in the future.
Karen Walz March 01, 2013 at 03:12 PM
@Frosty: Next employer? Who in their right minds would employ this kid?
Wake Up March 02, 2013 at 05:35 PM
So murders shouldn't be able to get jobs when they get out of prison? Hmm, so they survive by committing crimes or they live on public assistance?
Karen Walz March 03, 2013 at 03:53 AM
I'm more concerned about the quality of people hired by the security firm, and the quality and effectiveness of the security measures taken to protect the school.


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