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West, Texas Man sentenced to prison on federal firearms and obstruction of justice charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 4, 2013

In Waco this afternoon, 31-year-old Bryce Ashley Reed of West, TX, was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine for conspiracy to make an unregistered destructive device and attempting to obstruct justice announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and ATF Special Agent in Charge Robert W. Elder, Houston Division.

On October 10, 2013, Reed pleaded guilty to the charges.  By pleading guilty, Reed admittedly conspired with others from December 2012 until April 26, 2013, to construct and possess a pipe bomb, then attempt to conceal it from law enforcement or destroy it, thus impairing its availability for use in grand jury proceedings.  According to court records, Reed used the Internet to place orders and arrange shipments to his residence of various bomb-making components.  Reed also enlisted the assistance of another individual to construct the housing for the pipe bomb.  Once completed, Reed took possession of the pipe and stored it inside his residence along with the other components inside two ammunition cans.

According to the factual basis in this case, after the events of April 17, 2013, wherein an explosion at the West Fertilizer Company resulted in the deaths of 15 individuals and the damage and destruction to many structures within a several-block radius of the plant, Reed, whose home was affected by the blast, was staying in a motel in West.  On April 26, 2013, knowing that there was a possibility investigators might find the bomb-making components inside his residence and charge him, Reed enlisted the assistance of two individuals to travel to his home in West and retrieve the ammunition cans and bring them to him, which they did.  Reed, subsequently, provided a box containing the ammunition cans and the bomb-making materials to another individual with instructions to “get rid of this.” The individual agreed to do so and placed the box in a spare bedroom in his home in Abbott, Texas.  On May 7, 2013, the individual, for the first time, looked into the box and discovered its contents.  He immediately notified the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office who took possession of the items.

This investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives together with the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, McLennan County District Attorney’s Office, West Police Department, Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office and Texas Department of Insurance Fraud Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Mark Frazier and Greg Gloff prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.

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