Suspect in Colleyville case bought bombmaking books a year ago, feds say

FORT WORTH -- A real estate broker accused of placing an explosive device on the front porch of his ex-wife's Colleyville home bought books on booby traps and bombs a year ago, authorities said Tuesday.

Federal authorities found a handwritten list of those books in the Fort Worth home of David Barouch last week during a search after he became a suspect.

Authorities also found 30 to 35 firearms that belonged to Barouch, who is an avid hunter, according to testimony during his detention hearing Tuesday.

Barouch, 51, was ordered by a federal magistrate to remain behind bars.

After the hourlong hearing before U.S. Magistrate Jeffrey Cureton in Fort Worth, Barouch was to return to his cell in Parker County.

Matthew K. Belcher, Barouch's court-appointed attorney, argued that he was not a flight risk or a danger to others.

"He had ample opportunity to flee, but he did not," Belcher said. "As for a threat to the community, he lacks a criminal history, and there's no document of a violent temper."

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Bret Helmer described Barouch as a "bizarre man" who intended to kill his ex-wife.

"It wasn't an impulsive act," Helmer argued. "He ordered bombmaking books a year ago."

Barouch faces a federal charge of possession of an unregistered destructive device.

Federal agents and Colleyville police arrested Barouch last week after searching his home in the 5200 block of Selago Drive in far north Fort Worth.

Barouch became a suspect May 2, shortly after his ex-wife called Colleyville police to report that she had received a suspicious package at her home.

The device failed to ignite because a light bulb filament broke when it was placed inside the box, authorities said Tuesday.

Along with the automotive-type light bulb, the package contained two wooden salad bowls taped together, 3 pounds of smokeless powder, an electrical circuit, a 6-volt battery and bullet fragments. A federal official said the device was supposed to go off when the bowls were taken apart.

A dollar bill was found under the package, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Agent Travis Riddle of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives testified Tuesday that the bill was placed there to symbolize the last dollar that Barouch was giving his ex-wife.

No one was injured.

Colleyville police found that the salad bowls were sold at Bed Bath & Beyond at North East Mall in Hurst, and surveillance video showed Barouch buying the bowls and other material, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit stated that the Barouches, who have two sons, were divorced in June 2008 but continued fighting in court. The ex-wife told investigators that Barouch had left her threatening messages.

DOMINGO RAMIREZ JR., 817-390-7763