FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2006
ROBERT BURKE PLEADS GUILTY TO USE OF AN EXPLOSIVE DEVICE
DENVER – Troy A. Eid, United States Attorney for the District of Colorado, William D. Newell, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Richard C. Powers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Denver Office, announced that ROBERT L. BURKE, age 54, of Grand Junction, Colorado, pled guilty this morning to charges related to the use of explosive devices (bombs) in and around Grand Junction in March 2006. The guilty plea was entered before U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Blackburn. BURKE is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Blackburn on February 2, 2007, at 9:00 a.m.
According to the facts contained in the plea agreement, on March 24, 2006, five explosive devices were found at homes of employees of the FAA and Serco (an FAA contractor providing air traffic services at Walker Field in Grand Junction) in Mesa County, Colorado. All the devices were similar in construction. Three of the five explosive devices exploded causing property damage. An unexploded device of similar construction was found on the roof of Serco headquarters in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on February 1, 2006, and another device of similar construction was detonated on the porch of a private residence in Derby, Kansas on February 28, 2006.
BURKE had earlier been fired from Serco, according to the plea agreement. All of the Colorado victims of the crime had provided information in connection with his termination. The Kansas device was intended for the home of a couple who BURKE was in a legal dispute with over the sale of a motor vehicle, although it was accidently placed at the home of a neighbor.
As part of the plea agreement, the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the District of Kansas and the Middle District of Tennessee have agreed not to file additional charges as long as the defendant agrees to plead guilty in Colorado. The Colorado plea agreement calls for the defendant to serve 10 years (120 months) in federal prison for his conduct. The actual sentence will be determined by U.S. District Court Judge Blackburn.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Grand Junction Police Department, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, and the Grand Junction Fire Department.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Wyatt Angelo and Philip Brimmer.