Bethesda Teen Charged with Illegal Possession of an Explosive Device and Production of False Identification Cards

October 9, 2008

Greenbelt, Maryland - A criminal complaint was filed today charging Collin McKenzie-Gude, age 18, of Bethesda, Maryland, with possession of an unregistered explosive device and production of false identification documents, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

“Given the gravity of the allegations, we decided to bring this case in federal court after consulting with Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “I am grateful to the state, local and federal agencies that are assisting in this ongoing investigation.”

According to the affidavit and other court documents, on July 29, 2008, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at McKenzie-Gude’s home and recovered from his bedroom: an AR-15, AK-47 and AK-74 rifle; two shotguns; one 9mm handgun; copper wire; timers; electrical switches; sodium nitrate and other chemicals used to make an explosive device; PVC pipes fittings and caps; homemade cap well for blasting caps; wire, PVC tubing and batteries; and a diagram of explosive device. Also recovered were a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) identification access badge, a United States Government Geneva Conventions Identification Card, known as a Common Access Card (CAC), several documents to include instructional pages relating to explosives, documents that were marked as “Classified: Top Secret”, and a thumb drive.

A preliminary report received from the FBI Lab states the items that were seized from McKenzie-Gude’s bedroom could be easily assembled into a homemade bomb or a destructive device. Additionally, one of the items submitted for examination was an improvised grenade.

An analysis of the thumb drive seized from McKenzie-Gude’s room revealed files containing a picture of McKenzie-Gude similar to the one appearing on both identification cards, agency seals, bar codes, an American flag, and background images used in the production of the cards and images of the front and back of a CIA identification card and CAC that appear to be exact matches to those seized from the bedroom. McKenzie-Gude was not authorized to have either identification card.

McKenzie-Gude faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for the false identification and 10 years in prison and a fine of $10, 000 for possession of the destructive device. McKenzie-Gude is currently detained on related state charges and his initial appearance has not been scheduled in federal district court.

A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, United States Secret Service, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Montgomery County Office of the Fire Marshal and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy and his office for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Bryan E. Foreman and James M. Trusty, who are prosecuting the case.



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