VISTA, Calif. – All state charges against a man suspected of running a bomb factory at his Southern California home were dropped Friday — a day after federal prosecutors filed an eight-count indictment against him.
George Djura Jakubec, 54, will be arraigned next week on the federal charges filed Thursday that center on possessing and manufacturing explosives, and bank robbery, the U.S. attorney's office said.
The indictment says investigators recovered nine detonators, 13 grenade hulls and unknown quantities of high explosives.
The explosives were so plentiful and dangerous that authorities decided to blow up the house in Escondido rather than move the chemicals, so no one would get hurt.
Crews were building a 16-foot wall around the house to protect other homes in the neighborhood during destruction expected late next week.
During a status hearing Friday, Deputy District Attorney Terri Perez told San Diego County Superior Court Judge Robert Kearney the case was being transferred to federal jurisdiction.
"A decision was made that the more appropriate venue would be federal court," Perez said.
During Jakubec's previous arraignment on state charges, Perez called his rented house a "bomb factory."
Jakubec's estranged wife, Marina Ivanova, told the San Diego Union-Tribune he had been unemployed for three years and become obsessive about his chemistry "hobby."
She claimed he spent her money on chemicals and electronics, although she had no idea what he was making.
Authorities were called to the house on Nov. 18 when a gardener scuffed his foot in Jakubec's backyard, causing an explosion that injured the gardener.
In state Superior Court, Jakubec pleaded not guilty to 26 counts. Bail was set at $5 million, and he was given a public defender.
The U.S. attorney's office said Jakubec will be given counsel when he is arraigned next week if he cannot afford an attorney.
Jakubec was also charged with three counts of bank robbery and one count of attempted bank robbery in 2009 and 2010. He allegedly took about $54,000 in the robberies, the indictment says.
The maximum penalty for the illegal manufacture or illegal possession of a destructive device is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the U.S. Attorney's office said.
The maximum penalty for bank robbery is 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
(This version CORRECTS Corrects spelling of Escondido.)