■ By Taj Shorter / Metro Editor
Hemet Police along with the Riverside County Sheriff Department, CalFire and RSO Bomb Squad responded to a residence within the eastern Hemet area known as Valle Vista after a potential bomb threat surfaced during a probationary check last Friday.
On Mar. 22, officers were conducting a compliance check on 42 year-old Jose Angel Briones when they came across what appeared to be an explosive. According to HPD, ammunition and a “pipe bomb” were located at the residence during the search.
Immediately, security measures were taken by evacuating the neighboring homes. The RivCo Sheriff’s Dept. Hazardous Device Team (HDT) ultimately rendered the device as safe. According to witnesses, the device was tested and did not appear to be an explosive. A resident of the home explained to reporters on scene that they were working on their truck and the device found was not a bomb. Those who had been evacuated were inconvenienced for three hours.
According to HPD, Briones was on supervised release regarding a charge of willful child cruelty. Officers arrested him at the scene. He is currently being held at Southwest Detention Center with his bail set at $35,000. Briones was booked under the charges of allegedly committing a felony on bail/release, possession of bomb making material, violation of probation, possession of a controlled substance, a stolen vehicle, and prohibited ammunition.
The Hemet/San Jacinto Valley Gang Task Force were one of the authorities involved in this investigation. The task force is one of five teams in the Riverside County Regional Gang Task Force, which is a collaborative effort of 25 law enforcement agencies to combat criminal street gangs.