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Press Release

Amado Man Sentenced to 6 Years for Planting Explosive Device That Activated, Causing Injuries

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona

     TUCSON, Ariz. – On May 22, 2019, Constantino Varela, 64, of Amado, Arizona was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James Soto to 72 months’ imprisonment.  Varela pleaded guilty on August 1, 2018 to two counts of Unlawful Possession of an Unregistered Destructive Device, and one count of Possession of Firearms by a Convicted Felon.  

     Varela, suspecting vandals were breaking into a building on the property where he lived, built and planted an explosive device in the structure. The explosive device, containing metal balls and nails as added fragmentation, was connected to a pressure-activated switch mounted on the floor close to the building’s entrance.  On September 17, 2017, an associate of Varela entered the building and stepped on the pressure-activated switch. The device exploded and sprayed the victim with shrapnel. A further search of the property uncovered three additional explosive devices.

     The investigation in this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Border Patrol, and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution was handled by Beverly K. Anderson, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson.

Updated May 29, 2019

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 2019-068_Varela / CR-17-1659