GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten announced that Casey Richard Newman, 40, of Muskegon, Michigan was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff for knowingly possessing a destructive device. Destructive devices, commonly referred to as “homemade bombs,” are illegal to possess unless registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. Newman’s destructive device was not registered as required under federal law. Judge Neff also ordered Newman to spend 3 years on supervised release after his confinement. Newman previously pleaded guilty to the offense on January 25, 2023.
“The citizens of the Western District of Michigan should be able to move about their communities without fear of harm or danger by homemade destructive devices,” said U.S. Attorney Totten. “Those who engage in these dangerous crimes will be held accountable.”
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD). In August 2019, officers were dispatched to a residence in Grand Rapids regarding a suspicious device, which was ultimately determined to be a destructive device. The device consisted of a tape-wrapped plastic bottle that was filled with explosive powder and BBs. It was wrapped in electrical tape with a fuse at each end. No victims were harmed as the device was not detonated. The GRPD Bomb Squad made the device safe and conducted preliminary testing, and the ATF Forensic Science Laboratory conducted additional testing.
“Accountability for criminal conduct is paramount in ensuring public safety in the community. Casey Newman’s reckless actions could have resulted in an explosion that killed and injured many people while a at work,” said ATF Detroit Special Agent in Charge James Deir. “We investigated this in conjunction with our state and local law enforcement partners, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. This partnership was essential in ensuring Newman was held accountable.”
"The conviction is a direct result of the interagency cooperation between the Grand Rapids Police Department, the ATF, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Michigan,” said GRPD Captain Michael Maycroft, Bomb Squad Commander. “Although this type of investigation and conviction is a rare event in the city of Grand Rapids, it was our primary mission to take a dangerous improvised explosive device off the streets and identify the culprit before anyone got hurt.”
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren F. Biksacky.