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Press Release

Washburn Man Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison For Unlawful Possession Of A Pipe Bomb

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

A man who possessed a pipe bomb during an attempted theft was sentenced today to ten years in federal prison.

David Risse, 39, from Washburn, Iowa, received the prison term after an April 11, 2013, guilty plea to one count of possession of an unregistered firearm.

The evidence in the case showed that on November 10, 2012, deputies from the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a larceny in progress in Elk Run Heights, Iowa. Risse was observed attempting to steal and load a riding lawn mower onto a trailer. Risse ran off when deputies arrived. After Risse was apprehended, he was placed in handcuffs for transport to jail. As Risse was about to be put in the squad car, he removed a pipe bomb from his waist band and threw it on the ground. The pipe bomb, a metal tube capped at both ends with a fuse hanging out of it, was filled with gun powder and capable of being detonated. Risse had previously been convicted of numerous offenses, including assault with injury, assault domestic abuse, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, two burglaries, six thefts, and three convictions for operating while intoxicated.

Risse was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade. Risse was sentenced to the legal maximum of ten years’ imprisonment. A special assessment of $100 was imposed. He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

Risse is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a cooperative local, state and federal program aimed at the enhanced prosecution of gun crimes. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Tvedt and investigated by the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Court file information is available at The case file number is CR 13-2004.

Updated February 19, 2015