United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington
CHEHALIS MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR CHARGES RELATED TO 2007 MAIL BOX EXPLOSION
Out-of-Work Logger Blew Up Own Mailbox in Bid for Credibility as Fraud Investigator
KEVIN W. WILLIAMS, 45, of Chehalis, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to Eight (8) years in prison and three (3) years of supervised release for nine federal felony charges related to his scheme to portray himself as a crime victim. WILLIAMS was convicted in September 2010, following a seven day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Robert S. Bryan. The jury deliberated about three hours before returning guilty verdicts on all counts: three counts of wire fraud, possession of a firearm without a serial number, destruction of letter box, two counts of possession of an unregistered firearm (pipe bomb and zip gun), extortion, and making a false official statement. At sentencing Judge Bryan said, “Mr. Williams, you were a con-man of the worst order during the course of these events. I believe you are quite likely to do something again in the future.”
According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, WILLIAMS hatched a scheme in 2007, to try to make money by claiming to have important information on a $90 million ponzi scheme being investigated in the Atlanta, Georgia area. WILLIAMS’ step-mother had been a victim of the scheme. WILLIAMS sent communications to various people, both victims and attorneys, involved in the federal court case in Atlanta, claiming that he knew where the assets in the ponzi scheme case had been hidden. WILLIAMS represented that he was an investigator and demanded money for the information. No one agreed to pay him.
In an attempt to gain credibility to his claim that he had information of value, WILLIAMS used a home-made bomb to blow up his mailbox. WILLIAMS apparently thought it would make people believe that someone was trying to stop him from revealing his information about the ponzi scheme. WILLIAMS and a co-hort staged the blast and called emergency responders. The blast was so powerful that WILLIAMS would have been badly injured if it had occurred as he described. He was checked at the hospital and released without major traumatic injuries.
When the blast did not get the response from any of the ponzi victims, WILLIAMS sent emails with a threatening tone, and in April 2008, traveled to Atlanta where the trial of the ponzi schemers was about to begin. He was arrested by law enforcement with a variety of explosive components in his car. Following that arrest, one of WILLIAMS’ cohorts contacted law enforcement, admitting assisting with the bombing of the mail box.
In asking for a ten year sentence, prosecutors noted WILLIAMS’ threats, and the steps he took to carry them out. “The United States feels it cannot ignore the threatened danger presented by Kevin Williams, and that it must address it directly and strongly. The United States submits Williams is a dangerous man, a danger to the community, and someone who has no respect for the law....Williams’ scheme was real, and it was undeniably violent. Williams built a bomb, blew up his mailbox, lied to law enforcement, accused innocent people of committing a crime he himself committed, and then tricked law enforcement into conducting an extensive investigation. Williams then drove thousands of miles with a car full of weaponry, just as he had told others he would do,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David Reese Jennings and Gregory A. Gruber.