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Press Release

Convicted Felon Charged With Illegal Possession Of A Pipe Bomb Appears In Federal Court

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

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray announced that Thomas Derreck Charlet, 40, of Valdese, N.C., appeared in federal court today on charges of illegal possession of a destructive device.  Charlet was indicted by a federal grand jury on August 6, 2019, and was arrested by law enforcement this morning.  The federal indictment also charges Charlet with possession of ammunition by a felon and drug trafficking.

According to allegations in the federal indictment, on or about November 24, 2018, Charlet knowingly possessed a destructive device known as a pipe bomb, not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.  In addition to the explosive device, the indictment alleges that, during the relevant time period, Charlet was found to be in possession of ammunition, which he is prohibited from possessing due to prior felony convictions. In addition to the firearm offenses, Charlet is also charged with knowingly and intentionally possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Charlet appeared in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge W. Carleton Metcalf.  The maximum penalty for possession of a pipe bomb and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon is up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each offense.  The drug trafficking charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. 

The charges in the indictment are allegations. Charlet is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.

In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Murray commended the Valdese Police Department for their investigation of the case, and thanked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation for their assistance with this case. 

Assistant United States Attorney Richard Edwards of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated August 14, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses