Shelton bombing and bank robbery plot
A recently released prison inmate was arrested for plotting to blow up a large store and gas station as part of a bank robbery scheme.
The 53 year old from Shelton is charged with solicitation to commit a crime of violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The man allegedly began plotting the bombings and bank robberies while still serving his prison sentence for identity theft. After being released from prison on April 14, he described his plot in detail to someone he thought would assist him with his crimes. The person he met with was an undercover officer working for the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force.
U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan tells KXRO that law enforcement learned that the suspect told others in prison of his plan to rob banks in Shelton using bombs at various businesses as a diversion during which he would commit violent takeover style robberies. Following his release from prison, an undercover officer posed as someone who could assist him in getting weapons and explosives.
Twice this month, he was recorded on audio and video describing his plot involving powerful bombs at Walmart, Arco, and Chevron to the undercover officer as they drove around Shelton. The plot allegedly anticipated that while first responders were busy with the bombings, he would rob three banks, looking for the maximum loss of life in the bombings and the bank robberies. The officer was able to get the suspect four firearms, modified so they would not fire.
The 53 year old was arrested when he met again with the undercover officer, and attempted to ignite a car bomb. The “bomb” was inoperable.
Solicitation to commit a crime of violence is punishable by up to twenty years of imprisonment. Being a felon in possession of a firearm is punishable by up to ten years of imprisonment.