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Press Release

“Monkey Island” Pipe Bomb Defendant Sentenced

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

A 36-year-old resident of Grove was sentenced today in U.S. District Court for possessing an unregistered “pipe bomb” discovered at his former Afton residence last August, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan sentenced Richard Cole to 30 months of probation for possession of an unregistered destructive device. Cole pleaded guilty in November.

“Today was a day of accountability and consequences for Richard Cole. He is now a federally convicted and sentenced felon because of an illegal homemade bomb,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “I want to again commend the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Bomb Squad and the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office for their professionalism and timely response. Their swift action protected the residents living at ‘Monkey Island.’”

At his plea hearing, Richard C. Cole admitted to possessing a pipe bomb which was capable of exploding and for not taking the required steps to apply for and register the destructive device with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record according to federal laws. The bomb was located at his former rental apartment in Afton.

On Aug. 25, 2018, Delaware County Sheriff’s deputies were called to Cole’s apartment unit after the landlord discovered a suspected improvised explosive device (IED). The landlord made the discovery as he was inspecting the apartment following Cole’s eviction. Authorities then contacted the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Bomb Squad who, upon arrival, observed two, one-pound canisters containing “mixed Tannerite” which is a binary explosive. They also found two boxes of ammunition along with an IED, commonly referred to as a “pipe bomb,” in an ammunition container. The explosive experts then rendered the device safe at that time.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Bomb Squad and Delaware County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert T. Raley prosecuted the case. Raley is the National Security Anti-Terrorism prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Oklahoma.


Lennea Montandon

Updated February 7, 2019