Parkville investigation leads to arrest of former military explosives expert on federal charges

The Parkville Police Department received a surprise while investigating a vandalism case at a self-storage facility. 

John Panchalk

John Panchalk

Police were called to a self-storage facility off Highway 45 in Parkville on Thursday, May 19, where several trailers and vehicles had been damaged. Upon investigation of a trailer owned by John Panchalk, 42, police found ammunition canisters, rocket fins, blasting caps, C-4 explosive and military grenade simulators.

According to a release issued Friday, May 20 by the US Attorney’s Office in Kansas, investigators contacted Panchalk at his home in Overland Park. The former Army explosive ordinance disposal technician seemed evasive when police asked him about the contents of the trailer. 

When they executed a search warrant at Panchalk’s home, authorities found 38 pounds of C-4 explosive, detonation cord, blasting caps, grenade simulators, incendiary devices and two M-67 fragmentation grenades.

Panchalk was charged in federal court last week with unlawful possession of grenades, acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.

Panchalk  was charged with one count of possessing two M-67 fragmentation grenades that were not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. 

If convicted, Panchalk faces a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated with assistance from the FBI, the Parkville Police Department and the Overland Park Police Department. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Morehead is prosecuting.