News and Press Releases

St. Lucie County Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of Explosive Devices

May 21, 2012

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Hugo J. Barrera, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Office, announce that defendant Howard A. Lipson, 57, of St. Lucie County, pled guilty on May 18, 2012, on charges of unlawful possession of explosive devices, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Sections 5861(d) and 5871.

Sentencing will be scheduled for September 2012 before U.S. District Judge Donald L. Graham in Fort Pierce, Florida. At sentencing, Lipson faces a possible maximum statutory sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

Defendant Lipson was indicted on charges of unlawful possession of firearms by a convicted felon, and unlawful possession of unregistered firearms (explosive devices). According to statements made in open court and documents filed in the case, on April 12, 2012, Lipson unlawfully possessed in his home in Port St. Lucie a 9mm handgun and two .22 caliber rifles, plus a combination of black gunpowder, cannon fuse, and 7-1/4 inch PVC pipe with drilled end caps that were designed or intended for use as a destructive device.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the ATF. Mr. Ferrer also thanked the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office for their work on this investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore Cooperstein.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

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