Connecticut Resident Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to Five Years in Prison for Manufacturing and Distributing Explosives and Other Crimes
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 08, 2013|
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Nicholas Lahines was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to five years in prison for manufacturing and dealing in explosives and firearms without licenses, conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, and immigration fraud. Lahines pled guilty in February 2012 and was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated, “It is bone-chilling to contemplate the damage that the improvised explosive devices Nicholas Lahines manufactured in his Connecticut home could have caused had he not been caught by law enforcement. These devices had the capacity to maim and kill many innocent people, and now he will serve a significant sentence for his crimes.”
According to the complaint, the indictment, the information to which Lahines pled guilty, the plea agreement, and statements made in court:
During the spring of 2011, law enforcement officers came to suspect that an individual, later identified as Lahines, was involved in the distribution of explosive devices, and they directed a confidential source (CS) to meet with him. After selling four cylindrical explosive devices to the CS for $3,200, Lahines was arrested in the Bronx on May 19, 2011. During the sale of the devices, Lahines discussed with the CS the components that he had used to make them—including ball bearings—and told the CS that he had added glass and metal to similar explosive devices in the past. Lahines was then placed under arrest, and bomb technicians immediately took custody of the devices, which were determined to be live explosives.
Pursuant to a search warrant executed at Lahines’ Connecticut residence, agents recovered tubes, cord-like material, and caps similar in appearance to those used to construct the devices that Lahines sold to the CS. Agents also found a small jar containing powdery residue that detonated in the course of being examined, injuring a law enforcement officer.
In addition to his criminal activity relating to the manufacture and distribution of explosives, Lahines participated in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. In the course of their search, law enforcement officers found various items that are used in the illegal manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine, including hundreds of ephedrine tablets, in the trunk of his car.
Lahines had also engaged in immigration fraud. Specifically, he filed false documents and other materials with the United States Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service concerning his marriage.
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In addition to his prison term, Lahines, 38, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, was sentenced to four years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $3,200. He was also ordered to pay a $400 special assessment fee.
Mr. Bharara praised the investigative efforts of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in New York and Connecticut, especially those JTTF members from the FBI New York Field Office and the New York City Police Department, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, the Connecticut State Police Department, the FBI New Haven Field Office, the trial attorneys with the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut. He also thanked Kimberly Mertz, the FBI Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Field Office.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys John P. Cronan and Sean S. Buckley are in charge of the prosecution.