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Morrison man indicted by federal grand jury for possession of destructive devices

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2013

DENVER – Richard Lawrence Sandberg, age 35, of Morrison, Colorado, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver earlier this week on three firearm (destructive device) related charges United States Attorney John Walsh and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Andrew Traver announced.  The indictment was obtained on January 28, 2013.  Sandberg was originally arrested on January 24, 2013 based on a Criminal Complaint obtained on January 23, 2013.

On January 29, 2013, the government argued during a detention hearing that Sandberg should be held without bond pending a resolution of his case.  That hearing was continued until today, January 30, 2013, to allow the court and defense to view a video recorded by an ATF undercover agent.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Watanabe after reviewing the video ordered that Sandberg be held without bond pending a resolution of his case.

Counts one and two of the indictment charge Sandberg with possession of firearms (destructive devices) not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.  Count three of the indictment charges Sandberg with one count of being a prohibited person in possession of firearms (destructive devices) because he is an unlawful user of and addicted to any controlled substance.

According to the original affidavit in support of the Criminal Complaint, the investigation began when a Denver Police detective learned from a confidential informant that an individual who possessed destructive devices.  The detective contacted ATF regarding this information.  ATF, acting on this information, worked with the confidential informant to introduce an undercover agent to meet the subject, who turned out to be Richard Sandberg.  After a number of phone conversations the undercover agent and the confidential informant went to Sandberg’s residence, where they were shown the devices.  Sandberg reportedly said he wanted to trade the devices for cocaine, or for $300 each.

During the meeting, Sandberg made numerous threatening statements towards law enforcement and specifically ATF.  At the conclusion of the meeting, Sandberg gave the undercover agent three devices, which contained explosive powder, a fuse and shrapnel in the form of stainless steel ball bearings.  ATF confirmed that Sandberg was not allowed to possess such devices. 

Sandberg is charged with two counts of possession of a firearm (which includes destructive devices) which is not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.  If convicted, the defendant faces not more than 10 years in federal prison, and a fine of not more than $10,000.  He also faces one count of possession of a firearm (which includes destructive devices) by an individual who is an unlawful user or addict to any controlled substance.  If convicted of that count, he faces not more than 10 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.

This case was investigated by ATF, the Denver Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.  The Denver Police Department Bomb Squad, the Jefferson County Sheriff Bomb Squad and the Colorado Springs Regional Explosives Unit provided assistance at Sandberg’s residence, where the destructive devices were found.

Sandberg is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Sibert.

The charges contained in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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