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Press Release

Roanoke Man Sentenced For Detonating Explosive Device

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Derick Wilson To Serve 36 Months In Federal Prison

ROANOKE, VIRGINIA – A Roanoke man who admitted to building and detonating a pipe bomb was sentenced this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke.

Derick G. Wilson, 24, of Roanoke, Va., who previously pled guilty to knowingly possessing a destructive device, was sentenced today in Federal District Court to 36 months in federal prison, along with a two-year period of supervised release.

“The defendant put the lives of innocent bystanders and first responders at risk when he detonated this very dangerous device,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “Due to the prompt response and careful investigation of law enforcement, he has now been held accountable for his reckless acts.”

“The criminal use of explosives or improvised explosive devices poses an extreme threat to public safety.  ATF will aggressively investigate any use of these weapons that are designed for only one reason - to inflict serious injury or death to anyone nearby,” stated Carl Vasilko, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Washington Field Division.

The evidence in the case showed that on August 1, 2012, the defendant got into a physical altercation with an individual at Virginia Tech over a former girlfriend. Following the altercation, the defendant drove to his home in Roanoke, where he constructed a pipe bomb, using a piece of galvanized pipe, two end-caps, powder, and a fuse.  After constructing the pipe bomb, the defendant drove back to Virginia Tech and placed the pipe bomb under the left front fender of a vehicle belonging to the person with whom he had got into an altercation. The defendant lit the fuse and the pipe bomb exploded, causing significant damage to the vehicle. There were no injuries.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives, the Virginia State Police Bomb Squad, the Blacksburg Police Department and the Virginia Tech Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Craig “Jake” Jacobsen prosecuted the case.

Updated April 10, 2015