OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
JANUARY 21, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TRENTON MAN CHARGED WITH ILLEGALLY POSSESSING
FIREARMS, HOMEMADE BOMBS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Trenton, Mo., man was arrested today after being charged in federal court with illegally possessing firearms and homemade bombs.
Richard W. Cobley, 53, of Trenton, was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., on Jan. 20, 2010. Cobley was arrested at his residence today and remains in federal custody pending his initial court appearance.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, an undercover ATF agent visited Cobley’s residence on Jan. 14, 2010. Cobley allegedly showed the undercover agent two loaded firearms in the bedroom of his residence, a .17-caliber rifle with a bipod stand affixed to it and a .40-caliber Sig Sauer handgun.
Cobley also escorted the ATF agent to the basement, the affidavit says, where he showed him a hidden room. Inside the room, Cobley allegedly showed the undercover agent an improvised explosive device that he had manufactured from white PVC pipe, black electrical tape, common sparklers and magnesium. Cobley also affixed BBs to the exterior of the device using black electrical tape.
According to the affidavit, Cobley provided one of these devices to the undercover agent and told him to “try it out and see if you like it.” Cobley allegedly told the agent that he was in possession of at least seven more of these devices. The undercover agent observed similar devices, with electrical wires protruding from the PVC pipe, inside the jacket.
Cobley stated he believed the government was eventually going to come for him and that he would be ready, the affidavit says. Cobley allegedly claimed he had manufactured booby traps using trip wire and detonators that he would setup in his residence if he felt the government was coming for him.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Cobley has a prior felony convictions for misconduct with a deadly weapon per domestic violence and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Phillips cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Michael Green. It was investigated by the NITRO Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Trenton, Mo., Police Department, the Grundy County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Caldwell County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.
NITRO, the Northwest Missouri Team Response Operation, is a task force led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. NITRO is a joint law enforcement effort by federal, state and local agencies in the 16-county region.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at