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Austin man indicted in destructive device case

Authorities made the discovery while serving a search warrant in Travis County on Nov. 5.
Credit: David Fonseca

AUSTIN, Texas — Federal authorities on Nov. 5 arrested a convicted felon in Austin who is suspected of possessing a firearm and destructive device.

While executing a search warrant in 38-year-old Erich Wittwer's home, FBI agents found a .308 caliber semi-automatic assault rifle and a homemade destructive device, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO).

Online records show Wittwer lives in Austin's Colony, near Wickham Lane and Cottingham Drive. 

Credit: Mary Ann Harris

According to the USAO and Texas Department of Public Safety records KVUE obtained, he was convicted in 2009 for two counts of assault causing bodily injury/family violence, both felonies. 

He was also convicted in 1993 for possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor, and DWI in 2007, also a misdemeanor.

As of Thursday evening, Wittwer remained in federal custody.

The USAO did not share why a search warrant was executed at his home.

Members with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Travis County Sheriff's Office are assisting the FBI.

Credit: Williamson County Jail
A 1999 mugshot of Erich Wittwer, courtesy of the Williamson County Jail.

On. Nov. 17, a grand jury indicted Wittwer, charging him with one count of unlawful possession of a destructive device and one count of being a prohibited person, namely a convicted felon, in possession of a firearm.

Officials said they found seven firearms, including five pistols, one 12 gauge shotgun and the .308 caliber semi-automatic assault rifle in his home. 

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