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Press Release

Federal Jury Convicts Hardin County Man of Illegal Possession of an Explosive Device

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

Jackson, TN – After a three day federal jury trial, a Hardin County man has been found guilty of illegal possession, manufacture and transfer of a destructive device. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the guilty verdict today.

According to information presented in court, on August 24, 2018, TBI Special Agents began investigating Jonathan Edward White, of Hardin County. During the course of the investigation, agents determined that White might be in possession of an explosive device. That same day, White met with agents working in an undercover capacity and provided them with a pipe bomb. Special Operations personnel from the Tennessee Highway Patrol responded and rendered the explosive device safe. Jonathan White was arrested without incident and charged with one count of Possession of a Prohibited Weapon under state law. In the resulting federal investigation, the ATF Explosives Enforcement Branch examined the device and determined it to be an improvised explosive bomb which qualifies as a destructive device, as defined by Title 26, USC, § 5845.

The federal indictment charged that White knowingly and unlawfully made, possessed, and transferred a prohibited destructive device, more commonly known as a pipe bomb, in violation of Title 26, USC, § 5861 and 5871.

Sentencing is set for October 10, 2019, before U.S. District Court Judge J. Daniel Breen. White faces up to 10 years imprisonment; 3 years supervised release; and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: "This office, along with our law enforcement partners, takes all bomb threats seriously, and we are vigilant to protect and prevent property damage, bodily injury, and death from any explosive device in West Tennessee. We commend the quick, thorough, and coordinated response of all of the federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation, and we are pleased that this dangerous offender has been held accountable."

ATF Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson remarked, " ATF's priority to reduce violent crime in order to provide a safe environment for the community was evident as ATF's explosives experts working with our partners were instrumental in mitigating the potential destructive force this incident may have caused."

This case was investigated by the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office; Savannah Police Department; Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; Tennessee Highway Patrol; Tennessee Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

This case is being prosecuted by the Eastern Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office on behalf of the government.


Cherri Green
Public Affairs
(901) 544-4231

Updated July 11, 2019