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Canadian police: Fertilizer purchase not suspicious

By Adam Reiss, CNN
  • Man whose fertilizer purchase raised alert is located
  • He is not expected to be charged
  • Law requires stores to identify those who buy fertilizer that can be made into bombs
  • RCMP says such purchases are not unusual among farmers

(CNN) -- A man that southern Ontario police were looking for after he bought enough ammonium nitrate to make a bomb has contacted authorities and the purchase is no longer considered suspicious, officials said Wednesday night.

Investigators with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had been working with Niagara regional police to identify the man who purchased the fertilizer on May 26 in Lincoln, Ontario.

Lincoln is just over an hour from Toronto, where U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are expected in less than two weeks for the G-20 summit.

After police released sketches Wednesday afternoon based on three eyewitnesses, the buyer contacted Canada's Integrated National Security Enforcement Team.

The ammonium nitrate was recovered from two addresses in Toronto. And the counter-terrorist security agency determined there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the purchase. The man is not expected to be charged, the agency said.

Police were alerted after the man paid for and left with 60 25-kilogram (55-lb) bags of ammonium nitrate and store employees determined he was not who they thought he was, said Sgt. Marc LaPorte of the Mounted Police.

The employees failed to get the customer's name, despite regulations that require anyone purchasing ammonium nitrate to be identified.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, police officials in Toronto said the buyer misrepresented himself as buying fertilizer on behalf of a local grower.

RCMP officials point out that it is not suspicious for farmers to purchase ammonium nitrate fertilizer, even in this amount.