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Press Release

Trenton Resident Who Manufactured BombsSentenced Nine Years In Prison

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

A Trenton man was sentenced yesterday to nine years in prison for possessing explosives and making bombs, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Acting Special Agent in Charge Daryl McCrary, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

John Robert Kennedy 43, formerly of St. Joe, Indiana, was sentenced to 108 months in prison by United States District Judge John Corbett O'Meara and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine.

Kennedy was convicted following a three-week jury trial of Possession of a Destructive Device, Felon in Possession of a Destructive Device and Manufacture of a Destructive Device. Prior to trial he pleaded guilty to being a Felon in Possession of Ammunition and Explosives.

The evidence presented at trial showed that on April 28, 2011, defendant, disguising his voice in a foreign accent, made a telephonic bomb threat to Trenton High School. Defendant threatened that four bombs would be detonated in the school within the hour.  The school was evacuated and searched. Later that evening a device was found in the parking lot area of the school by a teacher.  On April 29, 2011, defendant detonated another device in the parking lot of an ACO hardware store in Trenton. Witnesses described an explosion with clouds of white smoke.  Remnants of a destructive device were found and were determined by forensic experts to contain explosive materials. Defendant was identified as the suspect who placed the devices through the use of a Crime Stoppers announcement on local television. Kennedy was previously convicted of similar criminal charges involving explosives.

Kennedy has been in custody since his indictment in July 2011. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Susan Gillooly with the assistance of ATF, Detroit Field Division and the Trenton Police Department.

Updated March 19, 2015