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Press Release

Former U.S. Marine Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For Explosives, Firearms, And Narcotics Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that RICHARD LAUGEL was sentenced to 121 months in prison for detonating a pipe bomb in the Bronx on March 2, 2016, along with firearms and narcotics offenses.  LAUGEL pled guilty on November 8, 2018, before United States District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, who also imposed today’s sentence.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Richard Laugel’s dangerous attempt to harm his neighbor by detonating a car bomb was, thankfully, unsuccessful.  His cache of weapons was also seized, and his narcotics businesses ended thanks to the extraordinary work of our law enforcement partners, making New York City streets safer.  Now Laugel will serve a lengthy prison sentence for his crimes.”

According to the Information, other filings in Manhattan federal court, and evidence presented in court at sentencing:

On March 2, 2016, LAUGEL placed an improvised explosive device (“IED”) under the rear tire well of his neighbor’s car, which was parked near their apartment building in the Bronx, New York.  LAUGEL, a former United States Marine, had constructed the IED using a metal pipe bomb, which he packed with nails and explosives and attached to a butane canister to increase the potential lethality of the device.  LAUGEL used a remote-detonation device to activate the bomb after his neighbor entered the car and drove several blocks away.  The force of the explosion blew out the airbags in the car and buckled the car doors.  The neighbor was not injured by the explosion.

On May 22, 2018, agents with the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), officers with the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) executed a search warrant at LAUGEL’s home in the Bronx.  Law enforcement recovered from LAUGEL’s home and garage, among other items:

  • 575 rounds of assorted ammunition
  • 8 silencers and 32 silencer parts
  • 5 home-made pistols
  • 2 commercially manufactured pistols, one of which had an obliterated serial number
  • 2 “switches” to convert pistols into fully automatic weapons
  • 1 bump stock

During a subsequent search of LAUGEL’s apartment located near his home, law enforcement recovered evidence consistent with the manufacturing of alprazolam for distribution to customers online, including a powder mixing machine, pill press dies to stamp pills, and boxes of alprazolam packaged for shipment to customers.

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In addition to the prison term, LAUGEL, 39, of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of ATF, the NYPD, and HSI.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Alison Moe and Jacob Warren are in charge of the prosecution.  

Updated March 20, 2019

Topics
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 19-091