For Immediate Release
Ohio Man Sentenced to Thirty-Five Years for Bombing of Oneida County, New York Victim in May of 2016
Victim Survived the Bombing with Serious Injuries
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Keith Seppi, 59, of Conneaut, Ohio, was sentenced today in United States District Court to serve thirty-five (35) years in prison, following his guilty plea to using a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence, and possessing a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence, announced Acting United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Ashan M. Benedict. In imposing sentence, the Hon. Brenda K. Sannes also ordered the defendant to serve a term of five (5) years of supervised release following his term of incarceration.
As part of his guilty plea, Seppi admitted that he built a bomb at his Ohio home that was to be activated by motion and disguised to look like a standard parcel package. Seppi transported the bomb from Ohio to Floyd, New York, where he put it in the victim’s (Alan Dobransky) driveway near midnight on May 28, 2016, intending that it would explode when it was moved. The next morning, the victim attempted to pick up the bomb causing it to detonate, resulting in his sustaining severe injuries and burns. Alan Dobransky survived the explosion but was hospitalized for several weeks.
As part of his plea agreement, the defendant also admitted that in May of 2016 he learned that the bomb victim (Alan Dobransky) had accused Seppi’s sister-in-law of stealing money from Dobransky’s mother and had threatened to report the alleged thefts to law enforcement authorities in Ohio. Alan Dobransky’s mother had been living with and cared for by Seppi’s sister-in-law in her Conneaut, Ohio residence. Shortly after learning of the theft accusations against his sister-in-law, and the threat to report the alleged thefts to local law enforcement authorities in Ohio, Seppi constructed the bomb and later planted it in Alan Dobransky’s driveway in New York.
“Keith Seppi’s cold, calculating, and cowardly crime earned a sentence that will put him in prison for the next thirty-five years. The coordination and dedication of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies from New York to Ohio pinpointed the perpetrator of this abominable attack and his accomplices and resulted in their convictions in county and federal court. We wish the victim strength and improvement in his recovery, and hope this measure of justice affords some solace,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Grant C. Jaquith.
Special Agent in Charge Ashan M. Benedict said, “Today’s sentence is effectively a life sentence for Keith Seppi. It is an appropriate punishment for his brazen, cowardly, and violent attack on Mr. Dobransky. Though Seppi was able to strike at his intended target, he ignored the extreme danger in the device’s transportation, and the indiscriminate nature of the explosive device once it was left in Mr. Dobranky’s driveway. The package bomb could have easily been picked up by an unintended victim, or others could have been near the device when it initiated. These possibilities were entirely outside the control of Seppi once the device was planted. The plot to silence Mr. Dobrasnky failed, but the disguised bomb left Mr. Dobransky with serious injuries requiring weeks of hospitalization. We continue to wish Mr. Dobransky a full recovery, and would like to extend our gratitude to the criminal investigators and prosecutors for their superb efforts in speedily bringing Seppi to justice.”
Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara said, “I would first like to recognize the victim, Alan Dobransky, as we all continue to wish him a full and speedy recovery from the injuries sustained as a result of this bombing.
I would like to thank all of the members of local, state and federal law enforcement who spent countless hours to identify the perpetrators of this heinous attack and bring them to justice. In particular I would like to thank the Oneida County Sheriff's Office, New York State Police, New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Office of Special Investigations, City of Utica Police Department, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, FBI, Ashtabula Sheriff and Prosecutor (OH), Conneaut Police (OH).
I would also like to thank former U.S. Attorney Rick Hartunian, Acting U.S. Attorney Grant Jaquith, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, particularly Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steve Green and Nico Commandeur for taking the lead on the investigation of federal charges against Keith Seppi and sending the strong and clear message that persons involved in the production and deployment of improvised explosive devices will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of our laws.
I would also like to recognize First Assistant District Attorney Dawn Lupi and Bureau Chief Assistant District Attorney, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, Grant Garramone for all of the hard work that went into securing convictions for Keith Seppi, Cindy Shields and Donna Seppi in Oneida County Court for violations of New York State law. The success of this investigation is the direct result of the cooperation that occurred between all of the law enforcement agencies involved.”
Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol said, “Although the incident was extremely concerning on many levels, all those involved in the response and investigation, leading to the apprehension of the suspect, worked together flawlessly. This case truly displayed the effectiveness of collaboration between law-enforcement agencies at its best. The members of law-enforcement directly involved in this incident should be given all the credit for the precision and the expedience that brought closure to this matter. We are thankful the victim of this attack is recovering and that he will receive justice through the works of everyone involved.”
New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “This case should send a strong message that we will not tolerate these kinds of pre-meditated, violent acts, and they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This defendant admitted to carrying out the plot that left a state correction officer with serious injuries. I am proud of the outstanding work done by our members and law enforcement partners in bringing this case to justice.”
This case was investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen C. Green and Nicolas Commandeur.