Skip to main content
Press Release

Richlands Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing and Manufacturing An Unregistered Explosive Device

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

ABINGDON, Va.- A Richlands man, who appeared at a health clinic in June 2020 with severe injuries to his hands and fingers, pleaded guilty today to possessing and manufacturing an unregistered explosive device. Acting United States Attorney Daniel Bubar, David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division, Special Agent in Charge Ashan M. Benedict of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Washington Field Division, and Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police made the announcement today.

Cole Carini, 24, pleaded guilty today to one count of possessing and manufacturing an unregistered explosive device. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for April 13, 2021. At sentencing, Carini faces up to ten years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

“The defendant put the safety of the community at risk when he built and then detonated an explosive device,” Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar said today. “Thanks to the prompt response and careful investigation of our federal and state law enforcement partners, Carini is being held accountable for his dangerous acts.”

According to court documents, on June 3, 2020, Carini went to a health clinic in Richlands suffering from suffering from extensive injuries to his hands, and shrapnel wounds to his neck and throat. After being interviewed at the hospital by officers, Carini reported that his injuries were caused by a lawn mower accident at his home.

During a search of Carini’s home, agents found the lawn was overgrown and found no other evidence indicating a lawn mower had recently been used. They did, however, find evidence of an explosion more consistent with the types of injuries Carini had suffered.  Agents also discovered drawings of improvised explosive devices, significant quantities of what is believed to be Triacetone Triperoxide, an explosive substance used in the creation of improvised explosive devices, and a partially constructed pressure cooker explosive device similar to that used in the Boston Marathon bombing.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Virginia State Police, the Richlands Police Department and the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Zachary T. Lee and Whit Pierce are prosecuting the case for the United States.

Updated January 11, 2021