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Synagogue Bombing Suspect Said to Return to L.A.

Ron Hirsch could face life behind bars.

Ron Hirsch, who has been linked to an explosive device that went off at the Chabad House Lubavitch of Santa Monica earlier this month, has returned to Los Angeles, according to The Associated Press.

Earlier this month, Hirsch appeared in U.S. District Court in Cleveland after being . The federal charge carries a maximum five-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $250,000.

He is facing a total of four federal charges, which could put him behind bars for life.

Hirsch waived his right to have hearings in Cleveland and opted to have them moved to the U.S. District Court Central District of California, where a criminal complaint had been filed against him. Hirsch was due to remain in federal custody until he appears in court in California on an undetermined date.

He was due to be transported to Los Angeles by U.S. marshals, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. "I do not have a timetable on the transfer," she added.

Hirsch  to the  that occurred April 7 at the Chabad House Lubavitch, caused by an approximately 250-pound pipe bomb. He was  in Cleveland Heights.

No one was injured in the incident, and the motive behind it is still unclear.

Investigators found a receipt dated Apr. 1 for three 11-pound bags of demolition material with Hirsch's name and shipping information on it, according to the affidavit. The receipt was attached to a torn box found near the Chabad House. They also discovered a box containing demolition material that had a label with his address on it.

Hirsch appeared to be an ," said Jerry Elliot, who said the suspect stayed in a on April 10 and returned to the Orthodox Jewish study center the next day.

Elliot said he thought Hirsch was studying, like everyone else in the room, but thought it was odd that he wore "beach clothes" and not the traditional black suit.

A "concerned citizen" called, and the Cleveland Heights Police arrested Hirsch just before 7 p.m., according to a press release from the police department and the FBI. 

“He’s anxious to get back to California and defend these charges against him,” said Daniel Chaplin, a private attorney who represented Hirsch.

He did not say why Hirsch ended up in Cleveland Heights.

“He asserts his innocence,” Chaplin said.

Hirsch waived his right to an identity hearing and confirmed his name was Ron Hirsch. He also waived his right to a preliminary hearing and detention hearing in Cleveland, as was his option because the charges came from another district. 

More on the synagogue blast:

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• FBI Not Ruling Out Other Suspects in Synagogue Blast

• SMPD: Synagogue Bombing Suspect Still at Large

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• Synagogue Blast Was Probably Not a Terrorist Act, Anti-Defamation League Director Says

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James C. L'Angelle April 24, 2011 at 02:15 AM
Exclusive Ron Hirsch trashcan bomb diagram, plus case timeline from news, affidavit, see: http://hollywoodredline.blogspot.com

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