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Press Release

Morrison Man Pleads Guilty To Possession Of Destructive Devices

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

DENVER – Richard Lawrence Sandberg, age 35, of Morrison, Colorado, pled guilty late last week before U.S. District Court Judge Philip A. Brimmer to two counts of possession of firearms (which includes destructive devices) which are not registered in the National Firearm Registration and Transfer Record, United States Attorney John Walsh and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Andrew Traver announced.  Sandberg, who appeared in custody, was remanded at the conclusion of the hearing.   Sandberg is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Brimmer on September 25, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.

Sandberg was arrested on January 24, 2013 based on a Criminal Complaint obtained on January 23, 2013. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on January 28, 2013.  He pled guilty on June 27, 2013.

According to court documents, including the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, the investigation began when a Denver Police detective learned from a confidential informant that there was an individual who possessed destructive devices. The detective contacted ATF regarding this information.  ATF, acting on this information, worked to introduce an undercover agent to meet the subject, who turned out to be Richard Sandberg.  Eventually, the undercover agent met with Sandberg at his residence, where he was shown the destructive devices.  Sandberg reportedly said he wanted to trade the devices for cocaine, or sell them for $300 each.

During the meeting, Sandberg made numerous threatening statements towards law enforcement and specifically the ATF.  At the conclusion of the meeting, Sandberg gave the undercover agent three devices, which contained explosive powder, a fuse and shrapnel in the form of stainless steel ball bearings. ATF confirmed that Sandberg was not allowed to possess such devices.

Following Sandburg’s arrest, law enforcement officers conducted a search of his residence. During the search, law enforcement located an additional 28 homemade destructive devices, several hundred rounds of ammunition, and 3 firearms.

For each count of possession of a firearm (which includes destructive devices) which is not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record; Sandberg faces not more than 10 years in federal prison, and a fine of not more than $250,000. Additionally, the defendant agrees to relinquish all claims, title, and interest the defendant has to all the ammunition seized in this case; 5.56 caliber rifle, model Low 16; a Remington, model 870 12 gauge shotgun; and a Beretta, model 92FS, 9mm pistol to the United States of America.

This case was investigated by ATF, the Denver Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. The Denver Police Department Bomb Squad, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad and the Colorado Springs Regional Explosives Unit provided assistance at Sandberg’s residence, where the destructive devices were found.

Sandberg is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Sibert.


Updated June 22, 2015