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Bond set at $100K for Billings man accused of placing explosives in roadways

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Posted at 10:11 AM, Oct 13, 2023

BILLINGS - Bond was set at $100,000 Thursday for a man accused of making and placing homemade explosive devices on area roadways.

James George Coleman, 57, appeared in Yellowstone County District Court for arraignment and pleaded not guilty to seven felony charges filed following his arrest during a massive police action Tuesday that forced the closure of a busy stretch of highway in the Heights.

Authorities allege Coleman made small explosive devices at his residence off Highway 312 and placed the devices in area roadways over the last several months. Billings police received several complaints from drivers who ran over the devices, but no injuries or damages were reported.

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James George Coleman appeared in district court for arraignment Thursday by video from the Yellowstone County jail.

Numerous Billings police officers and deputies from the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office descended on the area near Coleman's residence Tuesday afternoon where Coleman was arrested and the police department's bomb squad led an extensive search of the property. The raid closed a stretch of highway between Main Street and Independent Lane for several hours.

RELATED: Billings police close part of Highway 312 for investigation involving bomb squad

Authorities said the search resulted in the seizure of explosives, firearms, and methamphetamine.

In court Thursday a prosecutor asked that Coleman's bond be set at $150,000. The prosecutor said that while no one was injured by the explosive devices there was a risk that the devices could have caused serious injury. She described Coleman as a danger to the community.

A public defender asked for a bond of $10,000 saying Coleman has a local residence and limited criminal history.

Judge Rod Souza set the bond after noting the danger posed by the explosives and the presence of drugs and firearms in Coleman's residence.

RELATED: Billings man arrested during massive police search of Heights property

Coleman was charged with four counts of felony criminal endangerment, two counts of felony drug possession, and one count of felony possession of explosives.