DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Illinois

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Donald S. Boyce
, United States Attorney
Contact: Nathan E. Wyatt

St. Louis Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of an Unregistered Pipe Bomb

Donald S. Boyce, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that Paul Ryan Owens, 30, St. Louis, Missouri, pled guilty on Friday, October 6, 2017, to unlawful receipt and possession of an unregistered destructive device, the offense occurring on July 28, 2017, in Madison County, Illinois. Owens faces up to ten years of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment.
According to court documents, beginning on July 20, 2017, through the time of his arrest on July 28, 2017, Owens solicited a pipe bomb, specifying that he wanted it to be four inches in length with hardened steel end caps containing black powder with a one and a half to two feet long fuse. On July 28, 2017, Owens accepted a toolbox containing a pipe bomb constructed by an ATF bomb expert in such a manner that it would only smoke if detonated. Owens had not registered the pipe bomb in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. Owens looked into the toolbox and indicated that the pipe bomb was as he requested and provided morphine pills in exchange for the pipe bomb. Law enforcement immediately arrested Owens.
The investigation of Owens was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Hamel Police Department.
Chicago Field Division