Marion County Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Bombmaking Instructions
MARSHALL, Texas – A Jefferson man has pleaded guilty to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas Ganjei today.
Beau Daniel Merryman, 20, pleaded guilty to distribution of information relating to explosives and destructive devices today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Roy S. Payne.
According to information presented in court, between September and October 2019, Merryman engaged in a series of online conversations with covert FBI employees. During those conversations, Merryman provided detailed instructions on how to make multiple types of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), such as pipe bombs and pressure-cooker bombs. Merryman explained how to construct the IEDs, select explosives, pack shrapnel for maximum damage, and construct fuses or detonating devices. Merryman also directed that the IEDs be used to target federal law enforcement and critical infrastructure, such as electrical substations.
“This defendant had the knowledge, intent, and capability to inflict great harm on our East Texas community,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. “Thanks to the extraordinary investigative work of our agency partners, he was stopped before any lives were lost or damage was done.”
“This defendant believed he was sharing his knowledge and expertise with individuals who would cause significant damage or injury to targets including federal law enforcement and critical infrastructure,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno. “The FBI is committed to protecting our communities from harm and working with our law enforcement partners to disrupt violent activity. We ask the public to stay vigilant and to continue reporting suspicious or threatening behavior to law enforcement.”
Merryman was indicted by a federal grand jury on Oct. 16, 2019. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Tyler Resident Agency, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Cass County District Attorney's Office, Atlanta Police Department, and Tyler Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank Coan and Ryan Locker.