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Man sentenced in pipe bomb incident that closed local freeway

An Oceanside man who threatened to blow up the Vista Courthouse and left two connected pipe bombs along Interstate 5 in La Jolla was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years and four months in state prison.

Michael Peter Buffalo, 47, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of possession of a destructive device in a public place, and one count each of possession of ingredients to make a destructive device and illegal possession of ammunition by a mental patient.

Buffalo, who has been to prison six times since 1984 for cases involving drugs, auto theft and receiving stolen property, was sentenced by Vista Superior Court Judge Daniel Goldstein.

According to Oceanside police, authorities got a tip on Nov. 2, 2007, that Buffalo planned to detonate a bomb at the court complex on South Melrose Drive.

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When questioned, the suspect said he tossed the bombs along the freeway, according to police.

The entire roadway was closed between the 805 interchange and Highway 52 for several hours during a busy Friday afternoon commute.

According to court documents, authorities found and detonated a device that consisted of two pipe bombs wired together with a small propane cylinder and an unspecified power source.