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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Colorado
For Immediate Release
Cole Finegan, United States Attorney
Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Colorado Springs Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Possession of Explosive Devices

DENVER – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces Dakota Ryan Halley, age 28, of Colorado Springs has pleaded guilty to possession of unregistered firearms, specifically explosive devices.

According to the plea agreement, in early May 2022, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) obtained information that the defendant and co-defendant Dalton Turner were in possession of two hand grenades. The investigation led to an undercover ATF agent arranging to purchase one of the explosive devices from the defendant. On May 12, 2022, the undercover agent purchased one grenade and a shotgun from the defendant. Later, the defendant agreed to sell additional grenades to the agent. A second sale occurred on May 21, 2022. That day, shortly before the defendant was to meet the undercover agent for the second sale, agents observed the defendant and Turner loading two vehicles with military style tactical gear, including bulletproof vests and firearms. Turner, the defendant, and a female each drove a vehicle to the location of the second sale. The defendant conducted the sale alone, but Turner and the female staged their vehicles strategically to serve as lookouts and maintained radio communication with the defendant. The sale was conducted in a garage, and the defendant attended the sale wearing military style tactical gear, including body armor, a firearm on his hip, additional magazines. The undercover agent purchased six grenades from the defendant. The defendant was arrested on June 8, 2022. A federal search warrant was executed on the apartment the defendant shared with Turner and the following items were recovered by ATF agents: 32 explosive devices, numerous firearms and more than 4,000 rounds of ammunition. The defendant had not registered the destructive devices in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR) as required by law.

The defendant pleaded guilty before Judge Daniel D. Domenico on March 6, 2023. He will be sentenced on May 30, 2023. Co-defendant Dalton David Turner pleaded guilty before Judge Daniel D. Domenico on January 26, 2023. He will be sentenced on April 19, 2023.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Denver Division investigated this case. The prosecution is being handled by the Violent Crime and Immigration Enforcement Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

CASE NUMBER: 22-cr-00183-DDD

Numerous evidence items.

Evidence, including numerous weapons.

Evidence, including a vest, knife, and other items.

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