U.S. Attorney's Office/Eastern District of Texas:
PLANO (KYTX) - A 33-year-old Plano, Texas man has pleaded guilty to federal charges related to an incident involving an explosive device in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales.
Anson Chi pleaded guilty to possession of an unregistered firearm or explosive device and malicious use of explosive material today before U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell. A superseding indictment was returned by a federal grand jury on Feb. 14, 2013, charging Chi with these violations.
According to information presented in court, on June 18, 2012, Chi possessed a destructive device or explosive that was not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. The explosive device was manufactured by Chi through the combination of chemicals to create methyl nitrate. Methyl nitrate is a highly volatile explosive capable of inflicting significant damage to persons or property. Chi admitted to obtaining the chemical formula for methyl nitrate and documents related to explosives from the Internet.
Chi also admitted to intentionally damaging an Atmos Energy pipeline by attaching the explosive device to the pipeline and igniting it. Chi admitted he intended for the explosion to damage the pipeline and disrupt the flow of natural gas through the pipeline.
As a result of his plea, Chi agreed to a combined sentence of 22 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set at this time.
"Anson Chi meant to explode a natural gas pipeline that was located only a matter of yards from and ran through a Plano neighborhood," said U.S. Attorney Bales. "Thankfully, he failed, but not because he lacked the will and the effort. The bomb built by Chi was extremely dangerous. The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Plano Police Department quickly responded to the explosion and their outstanding work secured the safety of the surrounding area as well as the conviction that we announce today. The security of our homeland is job number one for the Department of Justice and I am delighted to congratulate the agents and officers who worked very hard to secure Anson Chi's conviction. The citizens of Collin County can rest assured that we will remain vigilant."
"Today's plea proves to those individuals who choose to disregard the laws of this country that placing our communities at risk will not be tolerated," said Diego G. Rodriguez, Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Division of the FBI. "The FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force continuously work to see that our nation remains safe."
This case was investigated by the FBI, the FBI-Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Plano Police Department, and the ATF and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Andrew Stover.