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Press Release

Kern High School District Employee Charged with Federal Explosive Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California
More than 1,000 pounds of explosives seized

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment today against Angelo Jackson Mendiver, 26, of Bakersfield, an employee of the Kern High School District, charging him with conspiring to commit offenses against the United States; engaging in manufacturing and dealing in explosive materials; two counts of mailing an explosive device; improper storage of explosives; and making false statements to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, Mendiver used an Instagram account to sell explosives and explosive materials and worked closely with a male juvenile Bakersfield high school student to fulfill transactions. A federal search warrant executed at Mendiver’s residence on June 1, 2023, resulted in the seizure of approximately 500 pounds of explosives and explosive materials. Agents seized another 500 pounds of explosives and explosive materials from the juvenile’s residence.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bakersfield Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen A. Escobar is prosecuting the case.

Mendiver is scheduled for arraignment on the indictment on June 15, 2023. If convicted of engaging in the manufacture and dealing in explosive materials, Mendiver faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,00 fine. If convicted of making false statements to the FBI and conspiring to commit offenses against the United States, he faces a maximum statutory penalty for each count of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Mailing an explosive device and improper storage of explosives carry a maximum penalty for each count of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.  Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated June 8, 2023