Laurel man pleads guilty to possessing bomb

The bomb was intended to maim or kill an ex-girlfriend, according to a criminal complaint.
The bomb was intended to maim or kill an ex-girlfriend, according to a criminal complaint.(Criminal complaint filed in Southern District of Mississippi)
Updated: Jul. 30, 2020 at 6:06 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A Laurel man accused of building a bomb pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court.

Brian Richard Sanders, 66, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of an explosive destructive device not registered in the national firearms registration and transfer record in Hattiesburg before U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett.

The Jones County Sheriff’s Department received information on Jan. 17 that Sanders had built an improvised explosive devise and was keeping it at his home on Crepe Myrtle Lane in Laurel, according to an affidavit by a special agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The special agent wrote in the criminal complaint that the information received indicated the bomb was built with the intent to maim or kill an ex-girlfriend.

After obtaining a search warrant, the sheriff’s department, ATF agents and members of the Biloxi Police Department Bomb Squad searched Sanders’ home and found a pipe bomb, two bottles of black powder, a roll of red hobby fuse, several firearms and ammunition. One of the firearms had a homemade silencer on it.

The bomb was disassembled in a safe near the home.

The ex-girlfriend had lived with Sanders before they had a dispute over drug use in Sanders’ home. When the woman left the home, she took items belonging to Sanders, including a car and a motorcycle, according to the complaint.

The special agent wrote in the complaint that Sanders became angry after he could not retrieve his property and began watching videos on the internet to learn how to build a bomb and a silencer.

According to the complaint, Sanders was recorded discussing plans for using the bomb, including throwing the bomb through a window of a home. Sanders told agents he built the bomb to blow up a beaver dam near his home.

A federal grand jury indicted Sanders on two counts on Feb. 12, one for possession of the explosive device and another for possession of a firearm silencer not registered to him in the national firearms registration and transfer record.

Under a plea agreement, Sanders pleaded guilty to the first count of the indictment.

Sanders is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 18. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

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