Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing and Making Explosives
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 16, 2013|
LAS VEGAS—A Las Vegas man pleaded guilty today to unlawfully possessing and making explosives at his home in Las Vegas, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Steven Fernandes, 19, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon to one count of possession of an unregistered firearm. Sentencing is scheduled for December 18, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. Fernandes, who is in federal custody on the charges, faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
According to the plea agreement, before and up to September 13, 2012, Fernandes possessed at his home explosive parts and devices that were not registered with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. On about September 10, 2012, Fernandes also transported explosive materials in Nevada, Utah, and Arizona and detonated destructive devices in the Arizona desert.
According to other court records, from January to September 2012, several individuals reported to the FBI that Fernandes believed he was a sniper and commanding officer of a militia that was preparing to go to war with the government or an invading country. Fernandes had bragged that he possessed firearms and a large amount of ammunition and could walk into a restaurant filled with people and kill as many people as he wanted. Fernandes bragged that he was trained in the building of homemade explosives including chlorine bombs and had made and possessed numerous pipe bombs.
Federal law enforcement agents arrested Fernandes on September 13, 2012, after they observed him drive away from his residence with a shotgun in his vehicle. During a search of Fernandes’ vehicle, they found a loaded Mossberg Model 500 12-gauge shotgun containing 10 rounds of ammunition. They also found at least 44 more rounds of shotgun ammunition in the vehicle. The agents also executed a federal search warrant at Fernandes’ home on September 13, 2012, and recovered firearms, explosive devices, and a number of substances and tools that could be used in the building of explosive and noxious gas-releasing devices, including napalm, ammonium, sodium sulfate, sulfur, and cannon fuses. Additionally, they recovered two inert hand grenades, five rifles, four handguns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and instructive materials for making explosive devices.
This case was investigated by the FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Clark County Fire Department; and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and it is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas D. Dickinson.