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Brownsville man profiled in magazine pleads guilty to explosive charges



MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Houston County man whose profile in Popular Science magazine sparked an investigation into his pyrotechnics pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to illegally manufacturing and selling explosives.

Federal agents raided the Brownsville home of Kenneth Miller in March, after the magazine article showed photographs of Miller shooting red flares off the hood of his pickup truck and packing powdered chemicals in a nearby shack he used as a makeshift laboratory, the Star Tribune reported.

Miller, 58, told the magazine he built special effects for the NFL and Hollywood movies, including the blockbuster Transformers franchise.

Investigators said Miller had previous felony convictions that precluded him from touching the highly combustible material used to create these devices. Miller admitted to manufacturing and selling smoke-generating devices and a chlorate explosive mixture to customers across the country from 2013 to March 2020, according to the plea agreement.

Miller was first convicted of a felony for conspiracy to make illegal explosives in 1986. A few years later, he was convicted of illegally possessing a firearm in North Dakota.

When ATF agents arrested Miller in March, they found firearms on his property, which Miller is prohibited from possession due to his felonies. Those charges were dropped. No date has been set for Miller’s sentencing.

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