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Press Release

Local man sentenced to prison for unlawfully possessing pipe bomb

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

DAYTON – A Kettering man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court to 30 months in prison for unlawfully possessing a pipe bomb.


Michael J. Rhea, 27, pleaded guilty in February 2021 to possessing an unregistered explosive device and to illegally possessing the explosive device as a frequent user of controlled substances.


According to court documents, in March 2020, officers with the Kettering Police Department encountered Rhea, who had a warrant out for his arrest. Officers explained to Rhea that he was going to be detained and discovered three methamphetamine pipes and a pipe bomb on Rhea and in his vehicle.


The Dayton Police Department’s Regional Bomb Squad was called to the scene and safely removed the pipe bomb, which had a protruding fuse and was filled with powder and BBs.


During a prior arrest, Rhea told law enforcement he uses methamphetamine daily.


Vipal J. Patel, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Chris Hoffman, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; Dayton Police Chief Richard S. Biehl and Kettering Police Chief Christopher N. Protsman announced the sentence imposed today by U.S. District Judge Michael J. Newman. Assistant United States Attorney Dwight K. Keller and Deputy Criminal Chief Dominick S. Gerace are representing the United States in this case.


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Updated May 11, 2021

Firearms Offenses