San Diego Sheriff's cruiser
A San Diego Sheriff’s cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone

A man caught with what deputies alleged were a half-dozen Molotov cocktails and suspected bomb-making materials in his car was behind bars Tuesday on a slate of explosives-related charges.

Deputies responding to a complaint of an illegal camper found Christopher Lee Fore, 33, sitting behind the wheel of his parked vehicle in the 1600 block of Ridge Road in Vista at around 5:30 a.m. Monday, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

During a preliminary search of the car, the patrol personnel allegedly found a metal military-style ammunition can containing two large plastic bags labeled “Ammonium Nitrate” and “Potassium Nitrate.”

“They also saw a loaded crossbow in the front passenger seat,” Sgt. Greg Hampton said.

“Believing they were possibly dealing with explosives and precursors to homemade explosives, deputies backed away from the car to a safe location and shut down traffic in the area,” Hampton said. “Nearby residents were also advised to shelter in place.”

Assisted by FBI agents and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officers, sheriff’s bomb-arson detectives conducted a thorough search of the vehicle, finding the six homemade bottle bombs along with gunpowder and a small amount of methamphetamine, officials said.

“No intended target was identified by detectives,” Hampton said. “However, based on the danger (posed to) the community, an increase in bail was requested and granted, in the amount of $500,000.”

Fore was booked into county jail in Vista on suspicion of four counts of unlawfully making or owning explosive devices and a charge of possessing an illegal narcotic. He was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday afternoon.