2 charged in connection to incidents involving explosives in Washington County

Nicholas Jeffery Thole Photo: Washington County Jail. Nicholas Jeffery Thole

Ben Rodgers
Updated: November 05, 2020 12:58 PM
Created: November 05, 2020 12:41 PM

Two people have been charged in connection to incidents involving an explosion that occurred in Washington County Monday night.

Criminal complaints state 29-year-old Nicholas Jeffery Thole and 40-year-old Thomas Slaikeu each face one count of aiding and abetting the possession and making of an explosive.

Monday, deputies with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office were called on the report of an explosion in Lake Elmo.

When officers arrived, they found a detonated explosive device.

Authorities in Washington County investigating 2 incidents involving explosives

While at the scene of the first incident, authorities learned of a second device that detonated in Afton. When police arrived in Afton, they were able to recover another device.

While searching the area Tuesday, officers found a UPC barcode in the blast area. The complaint said officers were able to learn the items used to make the device detonated in Afton were purchased by Thole.

When investigators spoke with Thole, he denied any involvement in the Lake Elmo and Afton incidents. The complaint says he later admitted that he purchased the items to make the device, built the device at his cousin’s home and later detonated it in Afton with his cousin. His cousin was identified as Slaikeu. He denied involvement in the Lake Elmo detonation.

Investigators later learned Slaikeu’s girlfriend drives a vehicle that was seen by a witness near the Lake Elmo detonation.

The complaint says police are working to recover deleted content on both Thole's and Slaikeu’s phones.

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