DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Colorado

For Immediate Release

Monday, April 25, 2016
John F. Walsh
, United States Attorney
Contact: Jeff Dorschner

Man Responsible for Detonating Pipe Bomb in Arvada Mail Box Arrested and Charged

DENVER – John Bowman, age 45, of Arvada, Colorado, was arrested on April 22, 2016 on charges related to the use of a pipe bomb to destroy a mail box, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives  and Arvada Police Department announced.  Bowman is believed responsible for placing a device at 9517 Ralston Road, in Arvada.  Bowman has been charged by complaint and appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty, where he was advised of his rights and the charges pending against him.  Bowman was ordered to be detained and a detention hearing is scheduled for later this week.

According to an affidavit in support of a Criminal Complaint, on April 21, 2016 at 2:27 a.m. the Arvada Police Department received reports of an explosion in the general area between West 52nd Avenue and Field Street to West 58th Avenue and Kipling Street in Arvada.  Police officers responded, but were unable to locate anything out of the ordinary at that time.  Later that morning, an individual who works in the area found and reported a destroyed mail box in front of 9517 Ralston Road, Arvada. This address is a former Safeway store, which is now unoccupied.   Preliminary review of the crime scene showed that the explosive device was most likely an improvised explosive device, also known as a “pipe bomb” or destructive device.

 A review of Arvada Police Department Patrol records for suspicious vehicle checks in the area and surveillance video led investigators to identify Bowman. A federal search warrant was obtained and later executed at Bowman’s residence late on the evening of April 21, 2016. Shortly after the execution of the warrant Bowman was detained and charged the next day. The residents of Arvada can rest assured that the person who allegedly placed the device is now in custody.

 Bowman is charged with one count of maliciously damages or destroys, or attempts to damage or destroy by means of explosive any property used in interstate or foreign commerce.  If convicted on that count, he faces not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine. 

 “In this day and age, any explosive device of whatever size is deadly serious business,” said United States Attorney John Walsh.  “The great work of the Postal Inspection Service and ATF, in close partnership with Arvada Police, resulted in the swift apprehension of this suspect.”

 “The safety of our customers and employees, and the security of the nation’s mail system are among our top priorities,” said Craig Goldberg, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Denver Division. “The exemplary collaboration by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Arvada Police Department led to the arrest of John Bowman, before he could bring harm to the citizens of Colorado.”

 “I commend the Arvada Police Department, U.S. Postal Service and ATF Special Agents for the quick investigation and arrest of the suspects,” said ATF Denver Field Division Special Agent in Charge Ken Croke. “Successes like these demonstrate the importance of close, collaborative partnerships between local, state and federal law enforcement.”

 “We want to thank our partners at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and ATF for their support in this case,” said Arvada Police Chief Don Wick. “I also want to thank our officers for their continued diligence in observing and identifying suspicious activity, which led directly to the suspects in this case. Arvada residents can be assured that their continued safety is our top priority.”

 This case is being jointly investigated by the USPIS, ATF, and the Arvada Police Department.

 The defendant is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregory Holloway.

 A Criminal Complaint is a probable cause charging document.  Anyone accused of committing a felony violation of federal law has a Constitutional right to be indicted by a federal grand jury.

 The charges in the Complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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