Not guilty plea for Easthampton man charged following explosives, ammunition raid

Investigation dates back to Super Bowl Sunday

Bryan Desmarais (center) is seen here during his arraignment in Northampton District Court on charges relating to the discovery of explosives at a rented space on Pleasant Street in Easthampton.

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A man from Easthampton is denying charges in connection to the discovery of ammunition and explosives at a building on Pleasant Street.

Easthampton Police said they found a large amount of material used to make explosives, already-made explosives, ammunition, and other illegal contraband inside a rented space at 142 Pleasant Street.

41-year-old Bryan Desmarais was arrested, and is facing multiple charges including:

  • Throw/Place/Explode explosives
  • Possession of an incendiary device
  • Possession of explosives and destructive devices
  • Possession of ammunition without an FID card

Desmarais was arraigned late Friday morning at Northampton District Court, where his attorney, Alan Rubin, entered not guilty pleas on his behalf. He was ordered held without the right to bail, pending a hearing on February 27 to determine whether he is dangerous.

Rubin also requested that Desmarais undergo a mental health evaluation.

Northwestern Assistant District Attorney Matthew Thomas told 22News this case is likely to go to superior court, due to the severity of the charges.

Easthampton Police Officer Chad Alexander told 22News the incident dates back to an investigation into explosions that occurred near Pleasant Street on Super Bowl Sunday.

He said that  police found several detonated explosives in the area during their initial investigation, which eventually led them to a rented suite inside 142 Pleasant Street.

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Desmarais lives on Ridgewood Terrace in Easthampton. His apartment is located across the street from where the explosives were found. Easthampton Police Officer Chad Alexander told 22News Desmarais is the sole tenant on the rental suite where the explosives were found.

Valerie Camp of Southampton told 22News that she is glad to know that the situation has been dealt with.

“It’s pretty scary in itself that they can do something like that, but I felt they were right on top of it,” Camp said.

Easthampton police are asking anyone with information to call the department at 413-527-1212.

The Easthampton Police Detective Bureau has been assisted by The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the FBI Springfield field office Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad, the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office in Springfield in this investigation.