A 28-year-old man arrested twice within the past month in Lake Forest pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of possessing bomb-making materials and heroin and methamphetamine.
Brian Mathew Hittner is also facing separate charges of illegal use of tear gas and assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, both felonies, stemming from an incident in Irvine last Oct. 30.
He pleaded not guilty Tuesday to unlawful possession of an explosive, possession of a destructive device and intent to unlawfully make a destructive device, all felonies, as well as misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.
Hittner, who entered his plea in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana, was ordered to return to court Aug. 12 for a pretrial hearing in the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.
Hittner was arrested July 14 when Orange County sheriff’s deputies were called to a hotel in Lake Forest to do a welfare check.
During a search of the hotel room, deputies found black powder, cardboard tubes and a fuse and 26 devices, according to Orange County sheriff’s Sgt. Dennis Breckner. The explosives were “unstable” and “not the kind of material used for fireworks,” the sergeant said.
Hittner posted bail and was released from jail July 15, according to jail records.
On Aug. 1, deputies were called to another Lake Forest hotel where Hittner was staying and were met with a “struggle over some dogs in the room” that required “minor force” to take him into custody, Breckner said. During a search of the room, deputies found at least a couple of pounds of heroin and methamphetamine, he alleged.
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