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Press Release

Edmonds, Washington, man pleads guilty to unlawful possession of destructive devices in connection with May 30, 2020 protest

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Used two ‘Molotov cocktails’ in arson attack on Seattle Police patrol cars

Seattle - A 20-year-old Edmonds, Washington, man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to two counts of unlawful possession of a destructive device for his activities at a May 30, 2020, protest that turned violent in downtown Seattle, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  KELLY THOMAS JACKSON faces a maximum ten years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge James L. Robart on March 29,2021.

According to records filed in the case, law enforcement investigated a number of criminal acts at a May 30, 2020, protest, including the arson of several Seattle Police vehicles.  Various videos showed a white male suspect in distinctive clothing using glass containers with a flammable material and a wick to burn or attempt to burn two police vehicles.  JACKSON was identified as a potential suspect in the case after an anonymous tip to law enforcement.  A detailed review of videos from the scene confirmed the suspect resembled JACKSON.  Further, a court-authorized analysis of cell phone records placed JACKSON in the area at the time of the fires.  JACKSON was observed wearing the same distinctive clothing as in the videos.  Finally, additional evidence obtained by law enforcement includes a video of JACKSON throwing one Molotov cocktail into a police vehicle and another video of a glass bottle with a wick.  In his plea agreement, JACKSON admits he accessed web-based information on how to construct Molotov cocktails.  The second Molotov cocktail was thrown at the windshield of a police vehicle, bounced off, and exploded in flames on the sidewalk outside the Nordstrom store. 

Possession of a destructive device is punishable by up to ten years in prison.  The ultimate sentence is up to Judge Robart after considering the sentencing guidelines and other factors.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), with assistance from the Seattle Police Department, the Edmonds Police Department and the Mountlake Terrace Police Department.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg.


Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or

Updated January 6, 2021

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime