Area man sentenced to probation for bunker explosion

Published 10:22 am Monday, June 23, 2014

ALBERT LEA — The Albert Lea man injured in an explosion in a bunker under his driveway in 2012 was sentenced on Thursday to probation and home electronic monitoring.

Ronald Irvin Rofshus, 49, will be on probation for up to five years. He must also pay a $1,000 fine and complete 30 days of home electronic monitoring.

The sentence, from Freeborn County District Court Judge Ross Leuning allows Rofshus to leave his home for work.

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Court documents state Rofshus was making a rimfire explosive in the underground bunker on Oct. 21, 2012, at the 18100 block of Pelican Road when the blast occurred.

He ultimately suffered an amputated left arm, an injured left ear, an injured left eye and chemical and heat burns.

The explosion was investigated by the Freeborn County Attorney’s Office, the Bloomington Bomb Squad, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Prosecutors said state statute requires anyone owning or possessing an explosive device to file a permit with the state. This applies to a person who makes chemicals to create a device as well.

Rofshus enjoyed working on targets as a hobby that would explode when fired upon. Court documents stated he enjoyed an adrenaline rush that accompanied the work.

With the felony conviction, Rofshus will no longer be able to use or possess firearms or explosives.