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Press Release

Akron man indicted on explosives and firearms charges

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

An Akron man was indicted for possession of a sawed-off shotgun, transportation of explosive materials, and possession of a destructive device, law enforcement officials said.  


Elijah B. Blankenship, 27, possessed a sawed-off 12-gauge Iver Johnson shotgun on Feb. 17, according to the indictment.


On Aug. 16, he possessed a pipe bomb. He knowingly transported explosive materials on the same date, according to the indictment.


In the early evening of August  16, 2017, Akron Police officers began speaking with Elijah Blankenship in the area of Druid Walk in Akron.  Through the discussion with Blankenship it was determined that Blankenship possessed a folding knife in his waistband.  An Ohio State Highway Patrol K-9 Officer and his partner approached the scene and alerted to Blankenship's vehicle.  Two packages of unknown powder substances, gunpowder and a pipe bomb were discovered during the probable cause search of the vehicle.  Blankenship was placed in custody by law enforcement, according to court documents. 


All items were collected for laboratory analysis and evidence.  The disassembly of the suspected pipe bomb and pyrotechnic aerial shell revealed PVC components containing metal screws, nuts, and bolts as well as an unknown powder.  A test burn was conducted of the unknown powder.  The powder burned in a manner consistent with an energetic pyrotechnic powder, according to court documents.   


If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violations.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.


The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa L. Riley following an investigation the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Akron Police Department, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.


An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.



Mike Tobin

Updated November 22, 2017

Firearms Offenses