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Press Release

Movie special effects coordinator sentenced to probation for illegally possessing explosive materials

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
Defendant coordinated pyrotechnics on Savannah movie set

SAVANNAH, GA:  A California man has been sentenced to probation for illegally possessing explosive materials on a Savannah movie set.

Robert Christopher Bailey, 51, of Los Angeles, was sentenced to 30 months of probation by U.S. District Court Judge R. Stan Baker after pleading guilty to Possession of Explosive Materials as a Prohibited Person, said David H. Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Bailey also was ordered to pay a fine of $5,500.

“The film industry is a robust and growing part of the economy in Savannah and in Georgia, and we welcome those who come to the state to work in movie production,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Estes. “However, we will fully enforce the law so that dangerous explosives are not in the hands of those who are prohibited from handling them.”

As described in court documents and testimony, on or about July 9, 2018, Bailey was working as a special effects and pyrotechnics coordinator on the Savannah movie set for The Poison Rose starring John Travolta and Morgan Freeman. After an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Bailey admitted in court that he was prohibited from possessing explosive materials because of a prior criminal conviction.

“ATF is tasked with regulating the explosives industry and to promote public safety in the Southern District of Georgia,” said Beau Kolodka, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the ATF. “The defendant had no business possessing explosives, given his previous criminal conduct.”

This case was investigated by Special Agent Lee Hoover of the ATF, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua Bearden and Frank Pennington.


Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422

Updated March 9, 2021

Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 43-21