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Justice News

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

Thursday, November 8, 2018

“Monkey Island” Pipe Bomb Suspect Convicted

TULSA, Okla. – A 36-year-old resident of Grove has pleaded guilty to possession of an unregistered destructive device discovered at a residence in Afton, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

In his plea agreement, 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.

“Improvised explosive devices such as these are dangerously volatile,” said Shores. “The pipe bombs here involved “exploding targets” consisting of binary explosives, which when the two components are mixed become explosives. These types of IEDs are subject to federal law and federal storage requirements. Mr. Cole acted criminally and irresponsibly by possessing these pipe bombs. Thank goodness they were discovered, and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Bomb Squad was able to render the devices safe.”

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. 

A conviction for possessing an unregistered device carries a possible sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 maximum fine. U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan will impose sentencing Feb. 8, 2019. Cole was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

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 is prosecuting the case. He is also the National Security Anti-Terrorism prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Oklahoma.

Lennea Montandon 918-382-2755
Updated November 9, 2018