Garden City Man Indicted for Illegal Firearm, Explosives
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Garden City, Mo., man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for illegally possessing a firearm and two pipe bombs.
Caleb M. Ayers, 29, of Garden City, was charged in a three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo.
Today’s indictment alleges that Ayers, a convicted felon, was in possession of a firearm and explosives on May 14, 2016. Ayers allegedly possessed a Smith and Wesson .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun and two pipe bombs.
One of the pipe bombs is described in the indictment as an approximately 12-gram carbon dioxide cartridge filled with a quantity of explosive powder, with a functional green pyrotechnic fuse protruding from its opening and Zinc-coated steel balls (measuring approximately 0.174 inches in diameter) glued to the cartridge with yellow epoxy-type adhesive. The second pipe bomb is described in the indictment as a length of white PVC pipe, approximately 3/4 of inch in diameter, sealed with white PVC end caps attached at each end. The PVC pipe contained a quantity of explosive powder and there was lead shot of at least two sizes, No. 8 and No. 9, glued to the exterior of the pipe with a yellow adhesive.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or explosives. Ayers has prior felony convictions for possessing methamphetamine and resisting arrest.
Ayers is also charged with one count of possessing unregistered destructive devices.
Ayers was originally arrested when law enforcement officers responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of Hawthorne Bank in Drexel, Mo. When officers arrived, Ayers was sleeping in the driver’s seat of a GMC utility truck, which was running. The loaded pistol was lying on top of the center console. After Ayers was awakened, an officer searched the vehicle and found the explosive devices in a plastic box in the rear seat.
Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Cass County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.