DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Alabama

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Joyce White Vance
, United States Attorney
Contact: Peggy Sanford

Hayden Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Grenade Fuses

BIRMINGHAM -- A Hayden man pleaded guilty today in Federal Court to charges of Distribution of Grenade Fuses to an Unlicensed Person, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge David Hyche.

U.S. District Judge Madeline M. Haikala took the guilty plea from Matthew Joseph Smith, 56, on charges stemming from an October 22, 2014, incident where approximately 1,340 M228 grenade fuses were distributed by Smith to another individual who did not have a license to possess the fuses.  The sentencing in the case is set for September 15, 2015.

“This conviction sends a message to those who deal in explosive materials without proper authority in the Northern District of Alabama. Individuals who hold a license to possess explosive materials owe a duty to act within the boundaries of the law at all times.  When those boundaries are exceeded, we will actively pursue prosecution to ensure the safety of the public,” said U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance.

“ATF remains committed to utilizing its dual criminal/regulatory role to identify, disrupt and prosecute those who criminally use explosives that put our communities at risk,” said Steven L. Gerido, ATF Special Agent in Charge.

ATF investigated the case.  Assistant United States Attorney Brad Felton is prosecuting the case.

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Field Division: Nashville Field Division