News and Press Releases

Leesville Man Convicted of Possessing an Improvised Explosive Bomb

December 10, 2012

Contact Person: William Witherspoon (843) 727-4381

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Shannon Alton Crapps, age 42, of Leesville, South Carolina, pled guilty today in federal court in Columbia, South Carolina, to possession of an improvised explosive bomb without registering the device, a violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 5861(d). United States District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie of Columbia, South Carolina accepted the plea and will impose sentence after she has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

At the start of the trial in this matter, Crapps agreed to plead guilty to the charge. Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that on November 17, 2009, a Lexington County Deputy responded to Crapps home concerning a potential methamphetamine lab. The deputy had been told that 2 people were in a blue SUV that contained a methamphetamine lab. When the deputy arrived, he met with Crapps who told the officer that he did not know who the two people were but they had cooked methamphetamine and had just left. The officer asked for permission to search the house and Crapps gave it. When the officer entered the house, he smelled a strong chemical odor consistent with ether. The officer retreated and called for narcotics’ agents. The narcotics agents arrived and sought Crapps’ permission to search his house. He gave it. When the agents began to search, they discovered evidence of a methamphetamine lab. They stopped their search and obtained a search warrant. When they returned to execute the search warrant, they found evidence of chemicals and other precursors used in the making of methamphetamine (i.e., two (2) chemical sprayers, cans of ether, one (1) gallon can of Coleman fuel, miscellaneous rubber tubing). Agents also found a burn pile next to the house which contained an 11 oz. Can of Gumout starter fluid with holes in the bottom, burnt blister packs and packing film for lithium strips from batteries. During the search, they also found two improvised explosive devices (pipe bombs) inside a drawer near the front door. Crapps later admitted to making the devices and not properly registering them.

Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty Crapps can receive is a fine of $10,000.00 and/or imprisonment for 10 years, plus a special assessment of $100.00.

The case was investigated by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Lexington County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney William K. Witherspoon and Jeffrey M. Johnson of the Columbia office handled the case.

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases.

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