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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Carolina

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Pickens Man Enters Guilty Plea in Federal Court for Possession of a Pipe Bomb

Contact Person: Lance Crick (864) 282-2100

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Matthew Joseph Kelley, age 28, of Pickens, pled guilty this morning in federal court in Anderson for possession of a destructive device, a violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 5861. United States District Judge Timothy M. Cain accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Kelley faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. Kelley was arrested on federal firearms charges on August 23, 2016, and has remained in custody since his federal arrest.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that on that August 19, 2016, members of the United States Marshals Task Force and deputies from the Pickens County Sheriff's Office, while attempting to serve an arrest warrant for an individual believed to be at a residence in Easley, came into contact with Kelley. When deputies arrived at the residence, several people were present and the owner allowed deputies to search the home. Deputies then received consent to search the belongings of other individuals at the home. When deputies searched a bag belonging to Kelley, they located a pipe bomb.

The United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force and the Pickens County Sheriff's Office investigated the case.  Assistant United States Attorney Max Cauthen in the Greenville U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.


Updated January 19, 2017