News and Press Releases

Defendant Bragged to Others About Blast with Powerful Device

March 12, 2008

TERRY ALAN OVERTON, 42, now of Spanaway, Washington, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to Possession of an Unregistered Firearm (Destructive Device) and Destruction of Property by Use of Explosive. U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Kelley Arnold detained OVERTON pending the June 13, 2008 sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton. OVERTON faces a mandatory minimum five years in prison and up to 20 years in prison.

According to the plea agreement, in the early morning hours of July 11, 2006, a pipe bomb was used to blow up a marked police cruiser in the parking lot of the Orting Police Department. The pipe bomb was made of 1-1/2-inch galvanized iron pipe. The pipe bomb was so powerful it sent shrapnel up and through the gas tank and trunk, and fragments were blown in all directions relative to the bomb’s placement under the vehicle. Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Orting Police identified OVERTON as a prime suspect. OVERTON had been seen in the hours before the blast with a pipe bomb. Witnesses told investigators that in the hours and days after the blast OVERTON bragged about bombing the police car.

Luckily nobody was injured by the explosion, but the damages to the car were such that it was declared to be totaled. Amazingly no other police vehicles were damaged by shrapnel from the blast.
“We are very pleased with the outcome of this investigation,” stated Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Seattle Field Division, Kelvin Crenshaw. “This was a brazen attack on law enforcement that could have had devastating results. This is yet another example of ATF working successfully in concert with our local partners.”

Possession of an Unregistered Firearm (Destructive Device) is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Destruction of Property by Use of Explosives is punishable by a mandatory minimum 5 years in prison and up to 20 years in prison.

The case was investigated by ATF, the Orting Police Department and the Pierce County Bomb Squad. The case is being 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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