Kingsport Resident Sentenced To 78 Months For The Manufacture And Detonation Of A Pipe Bomb In Johnson City, Tennessee
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – On Mar.13, 2017, Christopher Wayne Alexander, 55, of Kingsport, Tenn., was sentenced by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 78 months in federal prison for maliciously damaging the office and contents of Victory Orthotics, Inc., (Victory Orthotics) in Johnson City, Tenn., by means of a pipe bomb in July 2015. The court also ordered him to pay at least $300,000, and up to $330,000, in restitution for the damage to Victory Orthotics.
Alexander previously pleaded guilty to one count of damaging a building and property used in interstate commerce by means of fire and explosives (a pipe bomb) and three counts of possessing firearms (pipe bombs) not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. According to his plea agreement on file with U.S. District Court, Johnson City Police stopped Alexander’s vehicle a short time after the explosion for having a license plate obscured by tape, making it unreadable. An ensuing search of the vehicle revealed an assembled pipe bomb and components to manufacture additional pipe bombs. The pipe bomb in his vehicle was consistent with recovered remnants of the one detonated at the Victory Orthotics building. Officers also found a number of tools in the vehicle and/or on Alexander’s person, including a glass-breaking tool, a pry bar, pruning shears and knives. Testimony at the sentencing hearing indicated that he cut/disabled the security alarm before breaking in and planting the pipe bomb.
A search warrant executed at Alexander’s Kingsport residence the next day produced another assembled pipe bomb, along with fuses, remote firing devices, powders and ignition sources in a walk-in safe. Extensive literature regarding the manufacture of improvised explosive devices was found in the safe, including manuals titled “Homebuilt Flamethrowers,” “How to Make Disposable Silencers-A Complete Guide,” and “The Advanced Anarchist Arsenal Recipes for Improvised Incendiaries and Explosives.” A large number of firearms and ammunition were also located throughout the home.
Testimony from the sentencing hearing indicated that approximately one week after the explosion, residents and individuals maintaining properties near Victory Orthotics found two additional pipe bombs and brought them to the attention of law enforcement. These pipe bombs were virtually identical to the others recovered by law enforcement.
Law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation included the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, State of Tennessee Bomb and Arson Section, Johnson City Police Department, Johnson City Fire Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation Evidence Response Team. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas Regalia and Wayne Taylor represented the United States.