PORTLAND – A man who lost part of a finger in an explosion as he assembled pipe bombs last week will be held without bail because he poses a threat to the community and might not show up for his trial, authorities say.

Robert Infante, 47, of Alfred appeared Thursday in U.S. District Court, where he waived a probable cause hearing and a detention hearing. Infante and his publicly appointed lawyer, Hilary Billings, said the government would have prevailed in its effort to show there was reason to arrest Infante and hold him without bail.

Infante was arrested a week ago at Southern Maine Medical Center, after he blew off part of his left middle finger in the basement of his house on Avery Road. He said he had been injured by a gas explosion.

Firefighters who checked his house found several pipe bombs, marijuana plants and guns, which he is barred from possessing because he has been convicted of felonies, according to court documents. The Maine State Police bomb squad found five pipe bombs in his car, which he had used to drive himself to the hospital after the explosion.

Infante has a history of federal convictions, for crimes including possessing explosives and possession of firearms by a felon.

Infante appeared in court Thursday with his hand bandaged and his arm in a sling. He said he plans to challenge the evidence against him, because investigators gathered it illegally.

“I just don’t understand how they were able to run right into my house without a warrant,” Infante told U.S. Magistrate Judge John Rich.

Infante contends that the initial inspections of his house were illegal, and that information gleaned from them formed the basis for the search warrant that investigators obtained later.

 

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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