FBI, police announce details of arrest of Ryan Chamberlain, man in explosives case 

San Francisco police and FBI officials today announced the details of the arrest Monday of a "dangerous and desperate" man who was sought after investigators found alleged explosive materials in his home over the weekend.

Ryan Kelly Chamberlain II, 42, was arrested at about 6:30 p.m. Monday near San Francisco's Crissy Field, FBI Special Agent in Charge David Johnson said at a news conference this morning.

Authorities had served a search warrant at Chamberlain's home near Polk and Jackson streets in the city's Nob Hill neighborhood on Saturday and found alleged explosive materials there, Johnson said.

A criminal complaint against Chamberlain states the FBI found a messenger bag in Chamberlain's apartment, which contained a screw top glass jar containing batteries and a powdery, green substance; a model rocket motor lodged within the green powdery substance, an 'electric match,' a common igniter for improvised explosive devices, an assortment of ball bearings and screws believed to be intended projectiles, a wire extending from the glass jar attached to the metal lid of the jar, and a circuit board, configured as a remote-controlled receiver. The device is believed to be a homemade bomb that "was designed to maim or kill a human being or human beings," according to the complaint.

The FBI believes the green substance to be explosive material.

A nationwide manhunt ensued for Chamberlain, who posted what appeared to be a suicide note on social media earlier Monday, detailing his struggles with depression and trouble with family and work.

"This was a very dangerous and desperate person, I think you can tell from Facebook and social media posts attributed to him yesterday," San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr said.

Suhr said officers received a report on Monday evening from a citizen who spotted someone they believed to be Chamberlain.

Officers spotted him near Crissy Field and were able to take him into custody after a brief foot pursuit, Suhr said.

Johnson from the FBI said "the public came through" with hundreds of tips from the Bay Area and nationwide about Chamberlain's whereabouts.

"The public played a critical role in this arrest," he said.

He said with Chamberlain's arrest, "We think any threat to public safety has been mitigated in this case."

Johnson said the initial investigation began after the FBI was told that Chamberlain "had items of great concern to us, and some of that was corroborated when we searched his residence."

click to enlarge Ryan Chamberlain
  • courtesy photo
  • Ryan Chamberlain was arrested yesterday in an FBI explosives case.

Johnson did not say what exactly was in the home, citing the ongoing investigation.

He said Chamberlain is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court later today.

Chamberlain has worked in public relations and on many local political campaigns in the past 15 years, including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's when he ran for mayor in San Francisco.

Ryan Chamberlain Criminal Complaint

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