A Connecticut man reporting a burglary was charged with several felonies Monday, after police noticed chemicals and a gun collection.
After arriving at 69-year-old Joseph Callahan’s upscale home Oct. 1, police immediately called for backup, fire and Hazmat units after noticing firearms, M-80 fireworks and an assortment of chemicals. Callahan was charged Monday with six counts of first-degree reckless endangerment and 11 counts of illegal possession of explosives.
Callahan, a former employee at Remington Arms, had a collection of around 274 guns, all completely legal according to Callahan’s lawyer Richard Meehan.
“He’s a gun collector, and they’re all registered. They’re all legal,” Meehan told the Daily News. “He’s even in the skeet shooting hall of fame.”
According to Meehan, Callahan is also an amateur rocket enthusiast, a hobby he picked up after spending years as a chemist for the chemical company DuPont.
“In addition, he’s an amateur rocketeer. He shoots off his own small rockets, and a lot of what he had was related to the rocketry,” Meehan said.
Meehan’s statements were backed up by state environmental official Dennis Schain who confirmed the presence of rocketry related chemicals in Callahan’s garage.
Local police were joined by members of the Fairfield County Hazardous Incident Response Team, FBI, and ATF as officials worked to clear the scene. According to police, Callahan has been cooperative and was granted release in lieu of bond after authorities needed his help in identifying certain items.
Fire and state environmental officials worked alongside Callahan to remove and destroy whatever they deemed hazardous. M-80 style “explosives” were secured and detonated while the rest of the chemicals were slowly removed and tested throughout the week.
Despite being 9 days into the incident, officials have yet to comment on the legality of Callahan’s firearms and other items on scene. Callahan is set to appear in Bridgeport Superior Court on Oct. 16.