A retired Aurora police sergeant faces felony charges for allegedly helping a man cover up evidence after the man built pipe bombs and exploded two of them in residential neighborhoods in late 2020 and early 2021.
Curtiss Christensen, who retired from the Aurora Police Department in 2006, was arrested March 3, as first reported by The Sentinel in Aurora.
Christensen rented a room in his home to the suspected bomber, Scott Campbell, who used to date his daughter. Christensen faces three felonies for allegedly knowingly buying a rifle for a felon, being an accessory to the bombings and destroying evidence.
“The fact that Curtiss Christensen had told Scott Campbell to ‘get rid of everything,’ before the (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) got involved is telling,” an investigator wrote in the affidavit for Christensen’s arrest. “Curtiss Christensen is a retired police sergeant and would know, through experience, that the ATF is primarily responsible for investigating explosives and firearms charges. This message would be consistent with Curtiss Christensen advising Scott Campbell to destroy evidence of his involvement in the pipe bomb detonations.”
Campbell is suspected of detonating two homemade pipe bombs in residential areas in Aurora — one on Christmas Day and one on Jan. 7. Nobody was injured in the explosions, but investigators stated in an affidavit that was a matter of luck. Shrapnel up to 2 inches wide penetrated peoples’ windows and flew into homes.
The coalition of local and federal law enforcement officers tasked with investigating the explosions “understood that the likelihood of someone being injured or killed during the detonation of one of these explosive devices would be very high,” an affidavit for Christensen’s arrest states.
Investigators were able to connect Campbell to the bomb by using tracings of DNA found on the shrapnel. Police then surveilled an address connected to Campbell and found that a car registered to that address was owned by Christensen. The car matched the description of the vehicle used in the two bombings.
Investigators served a search warrant on the home on Jan. 15 and found bomb-making materials, a handgun, an AR-15 rifle and a partially constructed pipe bomb, according to the affidavit. Police that day arrested Campbell, who confessed to building the bombs used in the two explosions and wrote a letter of apology to the victims, investigators wrote in the affidavit.
After Campbell’s arrest, police confiscated his phone and found messages between him and Christensen. Campbell texted the former sergeant just after midnight on Dec. 25 and asked, “I was thinking about maybe going to blowing some (expletive) up a little bit later want me to text you?”
Christensen replied: “Yeah prolly but imma just order a lyft you all tied up.” He later wrote, “Lmk when u blow (expletive) up.”
About four hours later, the first bomb was detonated.
Later that day, Campbell texted Christensen — calling him “sergeant” — and asked for help hiding the car and trailer he had used while allegedly setting off the pipe bomb, according to the affidavit. Christensen responded and helped him figure out what to do, including advising him not to store the vehicle in a garage because it leaves a paper trail, his arrest affidavit states. He then donated the car several days later, which investigators believe was an attempt to hide evidence.
Texts also showed Christensen bought a rifle in October for Campbell, who could not legally do so alone because he was a felon, according to the affidavit. Christensen’s wife also told investigators that her husband bought the gun for Campbell.
Investigators arrested Christensen on March 3, court records show. The affidavit for Christensen’s arrest was written by an Aurora police detective who works for the Regional Anti-Violence Enforcement Network Violent Crime Task Force — a multi-agency team that investigates violent crimes in the Denver area.
He was released from jail after posting $75,000 bail, court records show. He is next scheduled to appear in court on March 30.
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