ATF Believes Aikens Set 2020 Loan Company Bomb Using Toy Remote

ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana (KALB) – Continuing coverage (Day 3) of Daniel Aikens’ trial, the man arrested after an explosion on January 2, 2020 outside PayDay Today on MacArthur Drive. Check back for updates throughout the day.

12:45 p.m. Update:

ATF officers said they believe Daniel Aikens used a toy helicopter remote control to detonate a pipe bomb outside the PayDay Today loan company on MacArthur Drive on January 2, 2020.

Aikens has pleaded “not guilty” to a series of federal charges related to the explosion in Alexandria and possession of a destructive device. He is accused of asking the loan company for $10,000 after setting off the explosion.

Investigators said they linked him to the blast by tracing a phone number he called on a burn-in phone he had purchased the previous month from a Dollar General on Horseshoe Drive.

Gary Smith, an ATF agent with experience in explosives, collected detailed evidence from three separate explosion sites in Monroe and Alexandria.

Smith said Monroe’s explosion outside Cloyd’s Beauty School on September 12, 2019 was a pressure cooker bomb. The reported explosion in a field near the Texaco on Jackson Street on December 20, 2019 was a pipe bomb. And, the explosion reported outside PayDay Today on MacArthur Drive was also a pipe bomb and officers recovered a circuit board from a toy helicopter and believe Aikens detonated the bomb remotely from a station -Mobile service across the street.

“It was an improvised explosive weapon that had a function,” Smith said. “It was a remote-controlled device.”

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