A local Madera man, who is listed on an official arrest report as both homeless and unemployed, was arrested on two outstanding bench warrants for placing a false bomb, and possession of a controlled substance. Eric James Smrkovsky, 29, was booked into the Madera Department of Corrections on Saturday, March 28 at 12:51 pm.
According to a story in Sierra News Online, the Bass Lake Courthouse, on Road 274, was closed on December 1, 2014, after a call came in that a suspicious device had been found in a trash can outside the building. The bomb squad was called out, and area roads were closed from 1 pm to 3:45. Smrkovsky was identified and found at nearby Oakhurst Park. He admitted to placing the device, which turned out to be a 3 foot long tube containing paper documents.
Smrkovsky is well known to local law enforcement. According to available records, he was also arrested as recently as March 13 on charges of DUI, disturbing the peace using offensive language, and probation violations. Prior to the bomb scare, he was charged, on November 3, with burglary, and on October 26 with possession of a controlled substance. On June 2, 2014, he was arrested for public intoxication. He has had several previous arrests going back to 2006, including drug charges, DUI, probation violations and outstanding warrants.
Bail was set a $80,000 for the combined warrants. The bomb scare charge, originally set as a misdemeanor, has been marked as a felony warrant, while the drug charge is a misdemeanor.