Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that Justin A. Vangilder, 21, of Shiloh, Illinois, pled guilty today in federal district court in East St. Louis to an Indictment charging him with three counts of Possession of an Unregistered Firearm/Explosive Bomb.
A Stipulation of Facts filed by the parties in conjunction with the plea states that on October 3, 2013, law enforcement agents received information from a Cooperating Witness that Vangilder possessed several pipe bombs at his residence in Shiloh. Based upon this information, agents went to Vangilder’s residence and spoke with Vangilder, who admitted possessing three pipe bombs and also admitted that he knew that possession of such pipe bombs was illegal.
Vangilder consented to a search of his residence, wherein agents located three pipe bombs – two of which had plastic casings, while the third had a metal casing. Each bomb contained a fuse, explosive material, birdshot, and nails. Each such bomb was capable of exploding by detonation from the attached fuse. Vangilder made each of the pipe bombs on previous occasions and therefore knew of components of each bomb, and knew that each bomb was capable of explosion by detonation from the attached fuse.
The maximum penalties that can be imposed for each count are ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both, three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.
Sentencing is set for August 1, 2014, in federal district court in East St. Louis.
The case was investigated by members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen B. Clark.