Massachusetts man arrested after suspicious devices found near power lines

BOSTON A Massachusetts man with a history of feuding with telecommunications companies was arrested on Saturday as part of an FBI probe into a series of suspicious devices found near power lines in a small town near the New Hampshire border.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, along with state and local police arrested Danny Kelly, 61, at his home in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, on Saturday morning, the FBI said.

Kelly, who was arrested on probable cause related to the investigation, will be charged on Monday, said Christina Dilorio-Sterling, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Massachusetts.

Local police and fire departments responded on Thursday to a brush fire near a power line in Tyngsboro, about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Boston and found an unspecific number of devices that resembled pipe bombs near transmission lines operated by National Grid. The devices were determined to be flammable but not explosive and posed no threat to the public, the FBI said.

It was not immediately clear if Kelly had hired an attorney.

Kelly pleaded guilty in 2005 to extortion for cutting communication cables operated by Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc, demanding $10,000 monthly payments to stop, federal court records show.

He was sentenced to five years’ probation and ordered to receive mental health treatment.

Kelly has represented himself in more than a dozen civil lawsuits in Massachusetts, against the town of Chelmsford and several telecommunications companies, contending that land and ideas have been stolen from him. None have prevailed.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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