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Washington County Bomb Suspect Pleads Not Guilty To Federal Charges

The man accused of detonating an explosive device during a traffic stop in Washington County pleaded not guilty to federal charges Friday.

A grand jury has indicted Jason Schaefer on three counts, including assault on a federal officer and using an explosive to commit a federal felony.

Police said Schaefer set off an improvised explosive device Oct. 11 when Oregon State Police and Washington County Sheriff’s Office detectives attempted to stop his vehicle.

Both detectives were working as part of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, a partnership between the FBI and local enforcement.

Recently, some activists in Portland have called for the city’s police bureau to pull out of the JTTF because they say it targets immigrant and refugee communities as well as people of the Muslim faith.

During Schaefer’s traffic stop, the Washington County detective sustained minor injuries. He has since returned to work.

FBI special agent in charge Loren “Renn” Cannon wouldn’t say why Schaefer was being investigated by the JTTF.

“What I can say is we worked this one pretty expeditiously,” Cannon said at a Friday news conference. “This is a good example of how resources flowed into the case as the case facts indicated they needed to.”

Federal prosecutors said Schaefer has two prior felonies.

In 2011, he was found guilty of second degree assault in New York. Earlier this year, he was also found guilty in Washington County of being a felon in possession of body armor.

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