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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 18, 2018

Ohio Man Sentenced to Time Served and Ordered to Participate in a Residential Drug Treatment Program for July 2016 FBI Gate Crashing Incident

PITTSBURGH, PA - A resident of New Waterford, Ohio, has been sentenced in federal court to time served on his conviction of willfully injuring or committing depredation against any property of the United States, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Chief United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti imposed the sentence on Thomas Ross, age 50, formerly of New Waterford, Ohio. Ross has been imprisoned since July 26, 2016, five months of which had been allocated to a separate state conviction on simple assault, fleeing and eluding, and failing to stop at traffic signals, committed on the same date as this offense. Ross was also ordered to a six-month to 12-month residential drug treatment program as part of a three-year term of supervised release. Additionally, Ross was ordered to pay $45,000 in restitution: $25,000 to the property owner of 3311 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and $20,000 to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to information presented to the court, on July 26, 2016, Ross drove his vehicle, a large dump truck, through the gate of the FBI Pittsburgh Field Office, located at 3311 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA. Ross proceeded to ram through the security barriers at a high rate of speed, inflicting extensive damage on the gate and security barriers and causing the vehicle to become airborne. Upon hitting the ground, the vehicle struck a nearby light post in the interior parking lot of the FBI Pittsburgh.

Additional information presented to the court indicated that Ross’s actions caused a financial loss of $248,019.45, including $228,019.45 in property damage to the gate, barriers, and light post, as well as costs to the FBI associated with hiring additional security while the gate and barriers were being repaired.

"Unfortunately, the weaponization of large-scale vehicles is becoming increasingly commonplace," said U.S. Attorney Brady. "Thomas Ross’ drug-fueled attack of the FBI’s Pittsburgh facility represented a serious threat that put the lives of others at risk. Thanks to the quick response of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police a potential tragedy was averted."

"The FBI Pittsburgh Division highly commends the actions of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police officer who responded to an incident at our facility on July 26, 2016," said Acting Special Agent in Charge Chad Yarbrough. "Officer Wester's diligence and quick-thinking prevented the incident from escalating into a more dangerous situation and protected our staff from additional harm. We appreciate his efforts and the efforts of the entire Pittsburgh Bureau of Police to protect all of us in this community."

Assistant United States Attorney Adam N. Hallowell prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Brady commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Thomas Ross.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Updated June 18, 2018