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Pair held in attacks on California police

Associated Press / July 5, 2010

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LOS ANGELES — Two men who investigators believe are linked to a series of booby-trap attacks on police in a town in the Southern California desert have been arrested, authorities said.

Seventy-eight police officers, deputies, and federal agents raided the homes of Nicholas John Smit, 40, of Hemet and Steven Hansen, 36, of Homeland, Hemet Police Chief Richard Dana said at a news conference Saturday. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms took part in the investigation.

Smit was being held on suspicion of making a booby trap and assault on a police officer with intent to commit murder, Dana said. No officers have been injured in the attacks.

Smit was already facing charges for marijuana cultivation, Dana said.

Hansen had a parole violation and faces weapons charges.

Authorities said they are still seeking two other suspects, and have offered a $200,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the attacks.

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