U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Southern District of Texas
Southern District of Texas
For Immediate Release
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Kenneth Magidson, United States Attorney
Contact: Angela Dodge, Public Affairs Officer
Chambers County Woman Charged with Conspiring and Aiding Her Deceased Husband to Make 122 Destructive Devices
HOUSTON – A federal grand jury has charged 32-year-old Pamela Leggett of aiding and abetting her deceased common law husband, Gilbert Ortez, in the making and possessing, along with conspiring to make and possess, destructive devices and firearms, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent-in-Charge J. Dewey Webb.
The six-count indictment returned by the grand jury on Oct. 6, 2011, alleges that beginning in March 2006 through July 2009, Leggett and her deceased common law husband, then residents of Baytown, Texas, Chambers County, accumulated a supply of precursor chemicals that they used to assemble a total of 122 destructive devices. In some instances the chemicals were allegedly obtained via Ebay. The destructive devices, according to the indictment, were improvised explosives that, in some cases, contained pieces of rebar, nails, and bullets. Leggett is also accused of being in possession of a machine gun, a short barreled rifle and three illegal silencers in violation of federal firearms statutes.
The United States has sought a court order to transfer Leggett from state custody into federal custody to face the charges and appear for arraignment on a date to be set by the court.
Each of the four counts accusing Leggett of aiding and abetting the possession or making of destructive devices and firearms, to include the illegal silencers and the short barreled rifle, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000 upon conviction. Possession of a machine gun carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 upon conviction. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment as well as a $250,000 fine.
This investigation leading to the federal charges was conducted by the Texas Rangers, special agents from the Houston Field Offices of the FBI and ATF, the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, the Baytown Police Department, the Bay Area Regional Bomb Squad, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Houston Police Department, Metro Police Department Bomb Squad, and the Pasadena Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney John D. Jocher is prosecuting the case.