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Press Release

Plano Man Sentenced for Pipeline Bombing Incident

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

PLANO, Texas - A 35-year-old Plano, Texas man has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison in relation to an incident involving an explosive device in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales.

Anson Chi pleaded guilty on June 3, 2013, to possession of an unregistered firearm or explosive device and malicious use of explosive material and was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell.  The Court applied a terrorism enhancement and did an upward departure of the sentencing guidelines.  This enhancement classifies Chi as a domestic terrorist.

According to information presented in court, on June 18, 2012, Chi possessed a destructive device or explosive that was not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.  The explosive device was manufactured by Chi through the combination of chemicals to create methyl nitrate.  Methyl nitrate is a highly volatile explosive capable of inflicting significant damage to persons or property.  Chi admitted to obtaining the chemical formula for methyl nitrate and documents related to explosives from the Internet. A superseding indictment was returned by a federal grand jury on Feb. 14, 2013, charging Chi with these violations.

Chi also admitted to intentionally damaging an Atmos Energy pipeline by attaching the explosive device to the pipeline and igniting it.  Chi was ordered to pay restitution to Atmos in the amount of $28,127.77.

This case was investigated by the FBI, the FBI-Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Plano Police Department, and the ATF and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Andrew Stover.

Updated June 1, 2015