Feds: Berlin ex-convict lied to probation officer

Published on Thursday, 12 April 2018 21:21
Written by LISA BACKUS


BERLIN - A local man convicted of booby-trapping his property, where federal agents found hundreds of explosives and guns in 2006, was arrested Wednesday on charges that he lied to his probation officer.

Alan Zaleski, 26, spent 101 months in federal prison and had been released on three years probation when a family member reported to authorities in 2016 that several items used in manufacturing explosives and ammunition had been found in a storage unit rented by Zaleski’s brother.

Among the items was a box with a shipping label addressed to Zaleski, court documents said. Zaleski told federal agents that they had all the items in the unit, implying that he didn’t have anything else.

This February, a source told federal probation officials that Zaleski had access to grenades, wicks, gun parts and ammunition. The source said Zaleski had asked the source to store the items after Zaleski’s release from federal prison in 2015.

The source turned the items over to the FBI, which determined that the source had been storing for Zaleski 20 grenade bodies with the fuzing systems intact, six boxes of ammunition, a package of cannon fuse and 23 grenade striker parts.

The grenade bodies did not contain any explosives, court papers said. But the rest of the parts were operational, authorities said, and could be used to make improvised explosive devices.

The source also told authorities that Zaleski had been renting the cabin in the woods in Berlin that he had booby trapped and in which he had stored hundreds of pieces of explosives in 2006.

Federal authorities confirmed that Zaleski was renting the cabin for $300 a month, but as of March, was listing his address on routine probation checks as Acorn Street in New Britain.

Zaleski was living on a different street in New Britain last year when his neighbors complained that he was flying a Confederate flag in full view of a biracial family.

Zaleski took the flag down when he learned the neighbors were upset.

Under the terms of his probation, he can not possess guns, ammunition or explosives and he must notify probation officials within 10 days of moving and provide information on any property he rents.

He was arrested near the cabin in the Shuttle Meadow area Wednesday.

Federal authorities did not find any bomb-making devices or guns in the cabin, a spokesman for the state U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Zaleski was charged with making a false statement. He is being held until a detention hearing takes place April 16.

Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Berlin on Thursday, 12 April 2018 21:21. Updated: Thursday, 12 April 2018 21:24.