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Press Release

Simpson County, Kentucky Resident Charged With Making And Possessing Destructive Devices (Molotov Cocktails)

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr. today announced the indictment of a Simpson County, Kentucky resident on charges of making and possessing destructive devices, commonly known as Molotov cocktails.

Trey Alexander Gwathney-Law, age 18, of Franklin, Kentucky, was charged in a two count indictment by a grand jury meeting in Louisville.  According to the Indictment, in September of 2015, the defendant knowingly made five illegal destructive devices. All were made using glass bottles. Four of the bottles (one Mountain Dew, one Sprite, and two Dr. Pepper) contained a dark gas/oil mixture liquid with a cloth wick stuffed in the bottle opening.  A fifth destructive device was made using a glass Root Beer bottle.  Similar to the other four devices, it contained a dark gas/oil mixture liquid with a piece of green pyrotechnic fuse attached to the opening with an epoxy sealant.  The bottle contained a silver CO2 cartridge in the top of the bottle, under the pyrotechnic fuse.  The CO2 cartridge contained explosive powder and small pieces of paper which appeared to have been soaked in the same flammable liquid found inside the bottle.  The devices are commonly referred to as Molotov cocktails.

If convicted at trial, defendant Gwathney-Law could be sentenced to no more than ten years for each count, with a combined maximum of no more than 20 years in prison, fined up to $500,000.00 and ordered to serve 3 years of supervised release.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jo E. Lawless and is being investigated by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Franklin (Kentucky) Police Department.


The indictment of a person by a Grand Jury is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Updated November 3, 2015

Violent Crime