Bomb materials, weapons found in Ridgewood home
RIDGEWOOD — A 60-year-old doctor with ties to the Occupy Wall Street movement has been charged with possessing a large amount of chemicals commonly used for making bombs and explosive devices, authorities said on Saturday.
Roberto E. Rivera of 183 Union St. was arrested following a multiagency investigation, that included the FBI and Bergen County Bomb Squad. Authorities found several chemicals, assault rifles and other weapons in Rivera’s home, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said.
Rivera was charged with recklessly creating a risk of widespread injury and unlawful possession of a destructive device, a largecapacity ammunition magazine and a stun gun, prosecutors said. His bail was set at $1 million.
In October last year, Rivera was photographed by Bloomberg News for a feature on Occupy protesters. He is quoted saying, “I’m glad that at last the youth of America is able to stand on two feet and take a position that millions of people around the world have taken that they will not be intimidated by the capitalist free market paradigm and they will fight against gross inequality in distribution of income and assets.”
Occupy Wall Street organizers distanced themselves from Rivera. William Dobbs, a spokesman, said the movement is about protesting “Wall Street greed and is firmly committed to non-violence.”
Rivera, who is unemployed, has a license to practice medicine in New York State, prosecutors said. Electronic records show only one Roberto Rivera registered to practice medicine in New York. Rivera’s license lists an address in Yonkers.
A woman who answered the phone at the Yonkers address on Saturday said she did not know anything about the charges yet. After further questioning, she said, “I’m going to have to go, sorry,” and hung up.
Ridgewood police first responded to Rivera’s home on a report of potential hazardous material at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, prosecutors said.
Police found a “highly volatile chemical” on the property, and after obtaining a search warrant, the FBI and bomb squad located several other chemicals, which are “commonly used in the making of explosive devices,” prosecutors said. A further search revealed a number of assault rifles and other weapons in the home.
The case remains under investigation by local, county and federal agencies.