Bridgeport Man Charged with Delivering Hand Grenade Concealed in Coffee Cup to Bridgeport Police
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 30, 2013|
Deirdre M. Daly, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut; Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the FBI; and Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett, Jr. announced that Morris A. Roberts, 42, of Bridgeport, was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging him with delivering a modified hand grenade concealed in a coffee cup to the Bridgeport Police Department in February.
Roberts was arrested this morning at his residence. He appeared before United Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel and has been ordered detained.
As alleged in the criminal complaint, in the morning of February 27, 2013, outside of the Bridgeport City Hall annex located at 999 Broad Street, Roberts handed a paper coffee cup to a witness and asked the witness to deliver the coffee cup to Bridgeport Police Department’s Office of Internal Affairs (OIA). The witness subsequently delivered the cup. When a police officer assigned to OIA looked in the cup, the officer discovered a modified hand grenade and notified the Emergency Operations Center. Law enforcement officers, including the Connecticut State Police Emergency Service Unit, responded to the scene, the building was evacuated, and the grenade was safely removed.
Subsequent examination of the grenade determined that it would not have detonated due to its poor construction. However, explosive black powder, which is not normally present in the type of device found, had been added to the grenade.
The investigation has included analysis of several videos recorded on the morning of February 27 in the area of 999 Broad Street.
The criminal complaint charges Roberts with possession of an explosive by a previously convicted felon and with making a threat or conveying false information concerning an attempt to kill, injure. or intimidate a person or unlawfully damage any building by means of an explosive. Each charge carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
Acting U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Bridgeport Police Department, and the Connecticut State Police. The FBI’s JTTF includes participants from the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Connecticut State Police, Bridgeport Police Department, Norwich Police Department, and the New York Police Department.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anastasia E. King.