WIMAUMA, Fla. - Prosecutors said the 27-year-old woman accused of making pipe bombs in her parents' home in Wimauma is too dangerous to let out of jail, and a judge has now agreed.
Michelle Kolts is accused of making 24 pipe bombs. She was arrested Thursday after her parents called authorities to report what they found in their daughter's room. Deputies said they discovered components to make dozens of pipe bombs at her home, along with several additional weapons including BB guns and knives.
During a detention hearing Tuesday, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Bomb Squad Master Deputy Michael Wright testified Kolts was in possession of materials that could cause harm if detonated near people.
"Inside the pipes were what appeared to be nails, screws, and pellets," said Wright. "So that when the device ruptures it spews out what become projectiles. It's like a gun and those are like extra bullets spewing into a crowd."
Wright said each of the bombs were capable of producing 5-10 casualties if detonated in a crowd.
He said they found fuse material, smokeless gunpowder, and written instructions on how to build explosives.
Kolts' public defender noted that none of the bombs were fully put together or "live." He said Kolts should be sent to a locked mental health facility rather than jail. Kolts could be seen whispering to her lawyers during the hearing, but she did not speak.
FBI Special Agent Christopher Frank was asked about an interview he conducted with Kolts when she was arrested.
"She said her intent was to harm other people, however, she did not name a specific target for a plan of attack," Frank explained.
Michelle Kolts is charged with 24 counts of making a destructive device with intent to harm. She will remain in jail until her trial.