DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Texas

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Nicholas J. Ganjei
, United States Attorney

Harrison County Man Sentenced for Possessing Pipe Bomb

MARSHALL, Texas – A Marshall, Texas man has been sentenced to prison for federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei.

Thomas Asa Harbarger, 57, pleaded guilty on Nov. 17, 2020, to possession of an unregistered destructive device and was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap.

“We are proud to work with our state and local partners to protect the public and ensure the safety of our community,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. “Thanks to the diligence and quick thinking of the Texas State Trooper in this case, a dangerous criminal is off the street.”

According to information presented in court, on August 2, 2019, Harbarger was working on a disabled vehicle on the side of Highway 49 in Cass County, Texas when he was approached by a Texas State Trooper. During the incident the trooper learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen. When asked for identification, Harbarger told the trooper he did not have his identification and gave a fictitious name. Harbarger was subsequently detained, where it was determined that he had outstanding warrants. After Harbarger’s arrest, a homemade pipe bomb was found in the driver’s side door pocket of the vehicle. A later inspection of the device by the ATF, concluded that the pipe bomb was capable of causing injury or death to a person.

This case was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence; deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition, and body armor; and improving the safety of residents in the Eastern District of Texas. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Atlanta, Texas Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Noble.

Dallas Field Division