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Press Release

Upshur County man is charged with making a bomb

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

ELKINS, WEST VIRGINIA – William John Clark, of Buckhannon, West Virginia, was indicted today on firearms charges, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Clark, age 62, is charged with one count of “Making a Destructive Device,” one count of “Possession of Unregistered Firearm,” and one count of “Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.” Clark is accused of making an explosive bomb, which wasn’t registered as required by law. Clark, a convicted felon, is also accused of having a .22 caliber pistol and a .22 caliber revolver. The crimes allegedly occurred in March 2020 in Upshur County.

Clark faces at up to 10 years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000 for the device count and the unregistered firearm count. He faces up to 10 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for the unlawful possession count.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon S. Flower is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office investigated.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see:            

An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated March 17, 2020

Firearms Offenses
Project Guardian
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