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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 22, 2020

Dallas Man Pleads Guilty After Placing Hoax Bomb on Railroad

A Dallas man plead guilty today to charges in connection with placing a hoax bomb on a Dallas railroad track, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.

Mark Ashley Robert, 37, plead guilty to one count of false information and hoaxes before Magistrate Judge Irma Carrillo Ramirez via VTC.

According to court documents, during the early morning hours of December 21, 2018, Mr. Robert admitted to placing a device (as seen in the photo below) on the Kansas City Rail Line railroad tracks in Dallas.

Train

A railroad conductor noted a red and green flashing LED light in the middle of the tracks while operating on the railroad. The conductor observed what appeared to be a box wrapped in electrical tape with a nine-volt battery attached to the side of the device.

The Dallas Police Department Bomb Squad responded to the scene to assess the device. Upon examination, law enforcement authorities determined that the box, placed by Mr. Robert, appeared to resemble an improvised explosive device (IED).  As a result, officers rendered the device safe.

Law enforcement submitted the remaining parts of the device to the FBI for latent print examination.  Through the course of that examination, Mr. Robert’s fingerprints were recovered.

Mr. Robert now faces up to 5 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has been set for March 5, 2021.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Dallas Field Office and the Dallas Police Department with the assistance of the Kansas City Southern Railway Company. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany Eggers is prosecuting this case.

Contact: 
Todd Martin Public Affairs 214-659-8691 todd.martin3@usdoj.gov
Updated October 22, 2020