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North Dakota man charged with illegal explosives, pot grow after blowing up his hand

FARGO — A Horace man faces felony charges after prosecutors say he blew up his hand with one of his many illegal fireworks, while simultaneously running a marijuana grow operation.

Court documents filed Tuesday in Cass County District Court against Steven William Green say Cass County deputies responded to his home on the afternoon of Nov. 19 following 911 reports of an explosion and blood everywhere.

Dispatch reports on law enforcement radio reflected the sounds of a possible high-speed chase underway from the crime scene, according to a detective's report, but the vehicle reported fleeing the scene went to Essentia Health. Green was in the car and a woman, Alexandria Lang, was driving, with her 19-month-old son also in the car, reports say.

When law officers arrived at Green's home, they found a trail of blood leading from the kitchen to a bathroom, and blood on the walls in the kitchen from what appeared to be an explosion.

At the hospital, Green told a detective he bought about three-dozen M80s, a type of firework, from a man at a party; he grabbed one of them and it blew up in his hand.

Green wasn't sure if it was an ash from his cigarette that ignited the M80, documents say. His first thought was to throw it into another room, but he hesitated because his dogs and a propane tank were in the room. As he turned, the explosive went off, Green told the officer.

Lang, who identified herself as Green's housekeeper, told police she was standing near Green in the kitchen when she saw sparks come out of the explosive fuse.

That's when she ran to her son, who was on the other side of the kitchen island from Green, picked him and brought him over to her side between the south wall and the kitchen island before the 2-foot-long firework went off in Green's hand.

Law enforcement officials executed a search and discovered 32 M-type explosive devices and five with rocks strapped to them with black electrical tape in the house, and a black GMC Denali parked in the garage.

They also found six marijuana plants, drug paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana in a cigarette in the house, Cass County prosecutor Tracy Peters said.

Green is charged with one Class B felony count of manufacturing a controlled substance, one Class C count of possession of explosives, and one count each of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, both Class B misdemeanors.

His first court appearance has not yet been set.