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March 23, 2023

Bomb suspect had prior arrests, remains outstanding

The Hollister man suspected of possessing a small homemade bomb – which authorities found in his home Friday and detonated – has a misdemeanor criminal record but nothing nearly as serious as the explosives incident.

Ansley A. Godoy, age 31, is wanted by the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office, which believes he may be in the Modesto area.

Sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant at his home in the 700 block of Nash Road on Friday and found a homemade explosive. The local sheriff’s office called in contracted help from the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad, which detonated the bomb Friday morning in a field at the corner of Nash Road and Homestead Avenue.

Godoy has had some criminal issues in his past, but nothing that would appear to indicate the potential for manufacturing or possessing a homemade bomb, while authorities were unclear what his motive was in the explosives case.

Godoy was convicted in San Benito County of a misdemeanor drug offense for possessing marijuana while driving in early 2010 and was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor charges in February 2018 in Monterey County, according to court records from both counties. Godoy was fined $540 in the San Benito County case after pleading guilty.

The Monterey County online records don’t indicate a specific charge involved, although Godoy failed to appear for a February 2018 court appearance and had a warrant issued for his arrest, according to the records.

There were no court records for Godoy in Santa Clara or Santa Cruz counties, while there is no publicly accessible statewide database for criminal records.

San Benito County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Eric Taylor said as of Monday morning, Godoy remained outstanding in the bomb case.

Authorities were on the Nash Road scene, about a block or two from the San Benito High School campus, into the afternoon Friday.

“The rest of the house was clear,” Taylor said of the apartment where he lived.

Godoy had been living in the apartment with his mother, Taylor confirmed.

“She was very cooperative,” said Taylor, who said he was “pretty confident” the mom was “oblivious” about the explosives.

Authorities also recovered a rifle and handgun from the scene while serving the search warrant. That warrant originated two weeks ago from a traffic stop. Taylor said deputies arrested Godoy, who was later released, after finding large quantities of narcotics that appeared packaged for sale. Taylor wasn’t certain what type of drugs were in the vehicle during the stop.

On Friday, the local sheriff’s office had six deputies on scene who were joined by a Hollister police officer, a probation officer and four members of the Monterey County bomb squad, Taylor said.

With the Hollister Fire Department on hand, authorities detonated the one explosive found in a small field around 10:30 a.m. Friday.

The sheriff’s office declared Nash Road reopened at about 1:30 p.m. after a brief closure of the road near the suspect’s home.

The sheriff’s office emphasized that San Benito High School was not in danger at anytime, although the edge of the campus was about a block and a half from the field at Nash and Homestead where authorities detonated the bomb, which let off a jolting noise in the neighborhood.

Below is a video report from the scene Friday.