PORTLAND, Maine — Two students at St. Joseph’s College in Standish pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to throwing makeshift explosives out their dorm windows during a snowy day in February.

Brandon Ward of Houlton and Victor Santos of Framingham, Massachusetts, each pleaded guilty in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court to one count of criminal use of explosives.

Each must complete 100 hours of community service and stay out of trouble with the law for a year under their respective plea agreements with prosecutors. If they do so, the charges against them will be dismissed and convictions vacated.

Judge E. Mary Kelly told Ward on Tuesday morning to make the best of his chance to clear his record.

“I hope this is the end of your criminal activities,” she told Ward.

On Feb. 5, while classes were canceled at St. Joseph’s because of a snowstorm, Santos and Ward threw three homemade “soda acid bombs” — two from 12-ounce plastic bottles, which successfully exploded, and one from a one-gallon milk jug, which did not detonate — from a dorm window, Assistant Cumberland County District Attorney Hannah May told Kelly on Tuesday.

If Ward or Santos runs afoul of the law within the next year, he would face a potential jail sentence of as much as five years for the explosives charge.

Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.