Wyoming Man Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Stealing Forest Service Explosives
BILLINGS – A Wheatland, Wyoming man who stole 688 pounds of explosives from the U.S. Forest Service has been sentenced to 36 months in prison followed by 3 years supervised release. Budd Nesius, 33, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Susan Waters after pleading guilty to possession of stolen explosives. In addition, Nesius was ordered to pay restitution to the U.S. Forest Service in the amount of $1,234.65.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Whittaker, the government told the court that in April 2013 in Red Lodge, the defendant knowingly possessed approximately 500 pounds of stolen explosive materials. While looking for a place to camp, Nesius drove down a dirt road and arrived in the area of a U.S. Forest Service (“USFS”) bunker which contained explosives. This explosives magazine/bunker is located several miles west of Red Lodge on USFS property. Nesius saw signs in the immediate vicinity warning of the explosives.
Shortly before dark, Nesius cut the locks with a pair of bolt cutters and loaded approximately 10 boxes of explosives into the back of his truck. This amounted to more than 500 pounds of explosives. The following morning Nesius transported the stolen explosives from Red Lodge to his hometown of Wheatland, Wyoming.
The investigation led agents to find boxes of explosives marked with USFS stickers abandoned by Wheatland reservoir. . An examination of the serial numbers on the recovered explosives determined that these were in fact the same stolen explosives taken from the USFS in Red Lodge, Montana.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.