News and Press Releases

Herrin Man Sentenced on Possession of Pipe Bomb Components

December 29, 2011

A Herrin man received a sentence of 110 months imprisonment on charges of possession of explosive materials by a previously convicted felon and possession of an unregistered destructive device, in federal court, in Benton, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. On April 20, 2011, Robert Allen Sloat, Jr., 52, was indicted by a federal grand jury. The Grand Jury charged Sloat with possession of a combination of parts intended for use to convert to a destructive device. Sloat has been held without bond since initial charges were filed.

On March 12, 2011, in Franklin County, officers of the Zeigler Police Department stopped a vehicle which Sloat owned and was a passenger in. At that time, it was discovered that Sloat possessed the components to make a pipe bomb: one can of gunpowder, two lead pipes wrapped in duct tape with end caps screwed onto each end; two boxes of 12-gauge shotgun shells; and fuses. Sloat had been previously convicted of two felonies for manufacturing methamphetamine in 2001 and 2002. Sloat told authorities that his excuse for having the prohibited materials was that he planned on doing some “hillbilly fishing.”

The district court in Benton also sentenced Sloat to pay a $400 fine, to pay a special assessment of $200, and to serve three (3) years of supervised release after his term of imprisonment.

This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Zeigler Police Department, the Illinois State Police, and the Illinois Secretary of State Bomb Squad. The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Liam Coonan and James M. Cutchin.












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