Michael Turney Pleads Guilty to Possessing 26 Pipe Bombs
April 1, 2010 - PHOENIX—Michael Roy Turney, 62, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of unregistered destructive devices, a felony offense, in federal district court in Phoenix. Turney admitted that he illegally possessed 26 pipe bombs discovered last year during a search of his Phoenix home in connection with a Phoenix Police investigation into the 2001 disappearance of Turney’s step-daughter, Alissa Turney.
“As a result of this prosecution, a dangerous man is off the streets. His self-built supply of bombs had the potential for catastrophic consequences,” said Dennis K. Burke, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. “I applaud the work of ATF, FBI, and the Phoenix Police for their excellent investigation, while removing these explosive devices safely from the neighborhood.”
On December 11, 2008, the Phoenix Police Department executed a search warrant at Michael Turney’s residence located at 17218 N. 34th Street in Phoenix, Arizona. Police found 26 pipe bombs and three incendiary devices, all destructive devices. In addition, the police found two silencers. The destructive devices and silencers were not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record as required by federal law.
On March 30, 2010, Turney, admitted in court that he knowingly possessed 26 pipe bombs without registering them in the National Firearms Registration. Turney admitted that he knew it was illegal to possess the pipe bombs.
A conviction for unlawful possession of unregistered destructive devices carries a maximum penalty of 10 years, a $250,000 fine or both. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Susan R. Bolton will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provides recommended sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
Sentencing is set before Judge Bolton on June 21, 2010.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Phoenix Police Department, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The prosecution is being handled by David A. Pimsner and Michael T. Morrissey, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.