Police: Somersworth man convicted of bomb possession planned to use them against cops

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Jul. 20—CONCORD — A Somersworth man caught with five bomb-like devices had spoken about using them against law enforcement, police said this week.

Ryan Cortina, 34, appeared in U.S. District Court and was sentenced to three years and three months in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire, Jane Young, announced this week. He pleaded guilty to charges of possessing unregistered firearms on April 1.

According to Young, authorities raided Cortina's residence after he showed a homemade grenade to a confidential informant. Authorities raided his apartment in September 2019 and found five "suspected destructive devices" in a duffel bag; one was an "improvised explosive bomb," the statement reads.

"The information that we got was that he intended to use them on law enforcement," said Somersworth Police Chief Tim McLin. "It's certainly concerning for law enforcement and the general public."

McLin said Somersworth police were pursuing a narcotics investigation that was not against Cortina when they learned about the grenade. The chief contacted the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and they quickly responded.

A raid on his apartment involved the BATF, Somersworth police, New Hampshire State Police and the State Police Bomb Disposal Unit.

"The improvised explosive bomb seized from the defendant's home placed his neighbors and the community in danger," Young said in a statement.

The case is part of BATF's Project Safe Neighborhoods, which seeks to reduce gun violence through preventive means as well as aggressive law enforcement.

mhayward@unionleader.com