Radioactive raid: Cesium, guns, IDs recovered from Guadalupe County man's home

Gary Albro, 46, faces federal, state charges related to 2017 raid

By Dillon Collier - Investigative Reporter

GUADALUPE COUNTY, Texas - A Guadalupe County man whose property outside Seguin was raided by law enforcement officers last summer had radioactive cesium in his possession, court records and an investigator familiar with the case have confirmed.

Gary Albro, 46, faces both federal and state charges stemming from the June 2017 raid at 1915 Zion Hill Road, located several miles southeast of downtown Seguin.

Collectors grade samples of uranium taken from the home were found to not be radioactive, while cesium found inside a lead-lined can was found to be radioactive, prompting authorities to call the San Antonio Police Department Bomb Squad.

Cesium, considered by many scientists to be the most volatile metal on Earth, is seen here combining with another chemical element in a video produced by the Royal Institution.

The cesium taken from Albro's home was later turned over to the Texas Department of State Health Services, which disposed of it, according to investigators.

Albro was not charged for possessing the radioactive material, investigators confirmed.

Albro, whose criminal record includes a 1993 federal bank fraud conviction, first got onto the radar of law enforcement agencies in Guadalupe County last year after he was tied to several unauthorized withdrawals from a bank account belonging to Zion Hill Baptist Church, located across the street from his home.

"He'd draw out amounts that you would normally consider as part of a transaction," said Kenneth Ball, a deacon at the 130-year-old church.

Ball confirmed more than $8,000 was taken from the account, which had been created to help pay for renovations to the aging church.

The money was used to pay down a credit card in the name of Daniel Walker, according to Sgt. Zachary McBride, with the Guadalupe County Sheriff's Office.

"Looked into it further and found out that Daniel Walker is actually Gary Albro," said McBride.

The raid led investigators to more than 300 pieces of identifying information, including prescription records, mail, credit applications and credit cards belonging to other people.

"Nothing was in his name. He used bits and pieces of other people's information, including his own, to fraudulently purchase or defraud," said McBride.

Investigators also seized firearms, ammunition, vehicles, trailers and vintage World War II German detonators, which were inert, according to McBride.

Also concerning to law enforcement officers were books belonging to Albro that included "Dr. Lung's Complete Guide to Torture: Theater of Hell" and "Prison Killing Techniques: Blade, Bludgeon, and Bomb."

Federal Criminal Complaint against Gary Albro

The Guadalupe County Sheriff's Office is in the process of using a Chapter 59 seizure to take over Albro's Guadalupe County property, a property in Bandera County and equipment, since all of it was obtained by Albro using fraudulent information, McBride said.

Albro, who remains in custody at the Guadalupe County Jail, is scheduled to be sentenced May 31 in federal court for a firearms charge.

He faces state charges of theft of a nonprofit and fraudulent use of identifying information - 50 items or more, which is a first-degree felony.

That trial is scheduled to begin June 4.

Officials with the Guadalupe County Attorney's Office said the office could not accommodate a request from KSAT 12 to interview Albro for this story.

Albro has not said why he was in possession of radioactive material, according to authorities.

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