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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Napa Man Charged With Possession Of Five Pipe Bombs

Defendant Also Possessed Manuals and Materials to Manufacture Explosive Devices

SAN FRANCISCO – Ian Benjamin Rogers was charged yesterday in a federal criminal complaint with possessing five pipe bombs that were unregistered destructive devices, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair.

“We allege that Ian Benjamin Rogers possessed homemade pipe bombs and the materials to make more,” said U.S. Attorney Anderson.  “We draw a bright line between lawlessness and our constitutional freedoms.  We will prosecute illegal weapons stockpiles regardless of the motivation of the offender.”   

“The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Napa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Napa Special Investigations Bureau discovered five pipe bombs and other explosive material during our joint investigation,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair. “The FBI investigates all credible threats, and our highest priority is ensuring public safety. We urge the public to remain vigilant. We need the community’s support in reporting threatening behavior and suspicious activity to local law enforcement or the FBI.”

The criminal complaint alleges that Rogers, 43, of Napa, possessed five pipe bombs discovered by law enforcement officers and agents during a search of his business on January 15, 2021.  The complaint states that on that date, Rogers was arrested and a search warrant was served on Roger’s home and business in Napa County.  Upon his arrest, at Roger’s business officers found a large gun safe.  Inside the safe, the officers and agents discovered and seized several guns and the five pipe bombs.  They also identified other materials at the scene that could be used to manufacture destructive devices, including black powder, pipes, endcaps, and manuals, including The Anarchist Cookbook, U.S. Army Improvised Munitions Handbook, and Homemade C-4 A Recipe for Survival. 

At least 49 guns were seized from Roger’s home and business along with thousands of rounds of ammunition.  Officers and agents also discovered a sticker on Roger’s vehicle window that is commonly used by so-called “Three-Percenters,” people who ascribe to extreme anti-government, pro-gun beliefs. 

Rogers was arrested on January 15, 2021, and appeared in Napa County state criminal court on state illegal firearm charges.  He is being held in state custody in lieu of a $5 million bail as he awaits a preliminary hearing.  Federal prosecutors intend to seek Rogers’s appearance in federal court on the charges in the complaint upon the issuance of a federal order to transfer Rogers to the United States District Court in San Francisco.  The date of such appearance has not yet been set. 

The charges contained in the criminal complaint are mere allegations.  As in any criminal case, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Rogers is charged with unlawful possession of unregistered destructive devices, in violation of 26 U.S.C. §§ 5861(d), 5845(a)(8), and 5845(f).  If convicted, the charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.  However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.   

The United States Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Section is prosecuting the case.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Napa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Napa Special Investigations Bureau.

Updated January 27, 2021