News and Press Releases

Federal Jury Convicts Volusia County Man in Bombing Trial

October 13 , 2011

Orlando, Florida - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that a federal jury yesterday found John M. Jenkins (25, Lake Helen) guilty of possession of an unregistered destructive device. Jenkins faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 26, 2012, before the Honorable Anne C. Conway, Chief United States District Judge.

Jenkins and two co-defendants, Lisa Milligan and Cassondra Rassi, were indicted on June 22, 2011. Both Milligan and Rassi previously entered guilty pleas in the case. Their sentencing is scheduled for December 15, 2011.

According to the testimony and evidence presented at trial, on April 2, 2011, Milligan became angry after she was robbed of $400 in a failed illegal drug transaction. Milligan, Rassi and Jenkins then decided to retaliate against the person who had stolen Milligan’s money by building a destructive device and blowing up the victim's car. Jenkins bragged that he had built pipe bombs in the past and agreed to build one for Milligan in exchange for prescription pain pills.

After Jenkins purchased components at DeLand area businesses, he drove Milligan and Rassi to his mother's Lake Helen home and assembled at least one pipe bomb. He inserted nuts and bolts into the body of the pipe bomb to cause "more damage." Milligan and Rassi subsequently drove to the victim's apartment complex, the Mallards of Brandywine, in DeLand. Milligan placed the pipe bomb into the tailpipe of the automobile, lit the fuse and fled the area. The resulting explosion damaged at least two automobiles and sprayed shrapnel into the parking lot of the complex.

This case was investigated by the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations of the State Fire Marshal's Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.

This is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” program - a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy led by ATF. United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill, along with Virginia O’Brien, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Tampa Field Division, is coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort here in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.



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