News and Press Releases

Planned to Distribute the M-250s at Indian Fireworks Stands

June 22, 2007

JOHN FRANKLIN McNEW, 51, of Elma, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 13 months in prison and three years of supervised release for Unlawful Manufacturing of Explosive Materials Without a License. U.S. District Judge Franklin D. Burgess handed down the sentence.

According to the plea agreement, between January and June of 2005, McNEW and an associate made improvised explosive devices at his Elma residence. The devices were tubes about three inches long and one inch in diameter filled with explosive powder. A hole was drilled in the tubes so a fuse could be inserted. The men manufactured thousands of these “M-250" devices which they anticipated would be sold to consumers at various Indian fireworks stands across Western Washington. When agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives searched McNEW’s home, they found a letter from ATF informing McNEW that he was not licensed to manufacture or possess explosives of any kind.

McNEW pleaded guilty in October 2006.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory A. Gruber.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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