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Press Release

St. Clair County Man Facing Federal Charge for Pipe Bomb Possession

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Illinois
Lauren Barry, Public Affairs Officer

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – On Monday, Jim F. Lanier, 49, of Marissa, Illinois, was arraigned on an indictment in federal court charging the unlawful possession of a destructive device. Lanier was ordered detained pending trial.

In a previously filed complaint, the Federal Bureau of Investigation alleged that Lanier admitted to making a homemade pipe bomb that he intended to use to blow up his wife’s vehicle, and further admitted to lighting and throwing the device at people who confronted him inside a trailer park in Marissa, Illinois on April 29, 2023. The device did not detonate, according to the complaint. The complaint further alleged that a second suspicious device was found stored among Lanier’s belongings.

The unlawful possession of an unregistered destructive device is punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

“Destructive devices can be exceptionally dangerous to life and limb. All suspected cases of the unlawful possession of homemade explosive or incendiary devices must be investigated thoroughly and treated as serious threats,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe.

“A potentially hazardous situation that could have endangered the lives of innocent people was averted thanks to successful collaboration with our local, state and federal partners,” said Springfield Field Office Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. “FBI Springfield would like to thank the Scott Air Force Base Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit, the Secretary of State Police Bomb Squad, and the Marissa Police Department. This multi-agency investigation demonstrates the joint commitment of our law enforcement partners to prioritize the safety of our communities.”

Complaints and indictments are merely formal charges against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading the investigation with the assistance of the Marissa Police Department, the Illinois Secretary of State Police Hazardous Devices Unit, and Scott Air Force Base Explosive Ordnance Disposal. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin Burke and Liam Coonan are prosecuting the case.

Updated May 24, 2023