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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of California
Phillip A. Talbert, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Monday, March 6, 2023

Merced Man Sentenced to More Than 10 Years in Prison for Manufacturing and Deploying Bombs

FRESNO, Calif. — Wes Parker McDaniel, 53, of Merced, was sentenced today to 10 years and five months in prison for maliciously destroying property by means of explosive materials and manufacturing bombs, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court records, between Feb. 1, 2021, and June 22, 2021, McDaniel made 12 destructive devices or bombs made with illegal fireworks that he had purchased in Nevada, ammunition, shrapnel, fire starting material, and other items. He deployed six of the bombs at two residences in Merced and one in Lemoore in retaliation against three intended victims. McDaniel deployed three of the bombs at a residence where he mistakenly thought one victim resided. One of the bombs hit the wall of the house, exploded, and destroyed the fence, which was shared with a neighboring property. Shrapnel emitted from the device created pock marks on the wall of the house, and a propane tank was badly burned. McDaniel placed two bombs near the car of another victim and threw a bomb at the residence of the third victim.

Following these incidents, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at McDaniel’s residence where they found six bombs, bomb-making material, a .22‑caliber rifle, and boxes of ammunition. As a convicted felon, McDaniel is prohibited from possessing firearms, including destructive devices, and ammunition.

U.S. District Judge Ana de Alba ordered the forfeiture of the destructive devices, rifle, and ammunition and ordered McDaniel to pay $2,180 in restitution to cover the loss of the fence.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Merced Police Department, the Lemoore Police Department, and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Escobar prosecuted the case.

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 U.S. Department of Justice 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.

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