KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Independence, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to placing a hoax explosive device on a public bus in Independence.
Scott Gene Bradley, 37, of Independence, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays to the hoax.
By pleading guilty today, Bradley admitted that he left a suspicious-looking package, designed to look like a bomb, on an IndeBus, part of the public bus service that provides transportation services in Independence. The hoax device was a black lock box with a cell phone taped to the top and a wire running from the cell phone into the interior of the metal box.
An IndeBus driver found the package, which was in a reusable fabric grocery-type bag, under a rear passenger seat on Aug. 10, 2013. The driver believed a passenger had left the bag under the seat and placed it in the front of the bus under the dash area. Upon arriving back at the bus terminal at the end of her shift, the driver left the bag on the bus and exited, intending to report the bag. The bus company does not operate on Sundays and when that driver returned to work on Monday, she had forgotten about the bag.
A second driver drove the bus during the following week. On Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, upon exiting the bus at end of the day, the second driver noticed the bag. Believing it belonged to another driver or passenger, the second driver took the bag into the bus maintenance area. The driver set the bag down and left for a meeting.
The next morning, Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, the bag was discovered by maintenance personnel, one of whom had prior military experience and immediately recognized the cell phone and box as a possible improvised explosive device. A maintenance worker removed the bag from the building and placed it outside in the parking lot area. The bus company notified law enforcement.
Over the course of several hours, Independence bomb squad personnel, in conjunction with FBI bomb technicians, were able to determine the suspicious package was a hoax device constructed to look like a real improvised explosive device. Agents determined that the phone taped to the top of the black box was owned by Bradley.
When agents interviewed Bradley, he admitted to putting the hoax device on the bus. Bradley told agents he created the hoax device because he was frustrated with several aspects of his life, including how the IndeBus did not run on schedule. Bradley also told agents that he created a second hoax bomb, which he intended to place in the U.S. Postal Service slot at a grocery store to disrupt the U.S. mail. Bradley explained that he did not go forward with that plan because he discovered that the mail slot area at the grocery store has surveillance cameras.
Under federal statutes, Bradley is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Casey. It was investigated by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Independence, Mo., Police Department, the Independence Fire Department, the Lee’s Summit, Mo., Police Department, the Lee’s Summit Fire Department, the Jackson County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the National Guard.