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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Oklahoma
Clint Johnson, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Monday, May 2, 2022

Bixby Man Charged With Unlawfully Manufacturing an Explosive Device

A man who allegedly built an explosive device that was found in a backpack during a traffic stop was charged in federal court, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

Joe Allen Forest, 24, was charged by Criminal Complaint with unlawful manufacture of a destructive device.

On April 28, 2022, a Bixby police officer attempted to stop a speeding driver, who then led the officer on a chase. The driver eventually stopped and was taken into custody.

According to the Complaint, a vehicle inventory was conducted, and the officer observed a backpack on the floorboard with a canister that appeared to be an explosive device. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol Bomb Squad and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were contacted and arrived on scene. They determined the device to be an expended military smoke grenade which had been manipulated and refilled with explosive powders and disassembled fireworks. The device further had a pyrotechnic fuse along its side then entering the device at the bottom. They also located an intact small triangular explosive device inside the backpack. The triangular devices are often illegally imported into the United States and contain 3 grams of flash powder. All devices were rendered safe.

The driver told investigators that the backpack and devices belonged to Joe Allen Forest and that he had dropped him off earlier. Forest was eventually located and taken into custody. According to the Complaint, agents found four small triangular devices in Forest’s pocket, which were the same as the triangular device found earlier in the backpack. Forest also allegedly told agents that he built the larger device found in the backpack at his home in Bixby nearly a month ago and was planning to blow it up at a creek.

*This matter will proceed in United States District Court in Tulsa, where the Complaint is currently pending. A Complaint is a temporary charge alleging a violation of law. For the case to proceed to trial, the United States must present the charge to a federal Grand Jury within 30 days. Once a Grand Jury returns an Indictment, a defendant has a right to a jury trial at which the United States would have the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and Bixby Police Department are the investigative agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert T. Raley is prosecuting the case. AUSA Raley is the National Security Anti-Terrorism (ATAC) Prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Oklahoma.

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