True-crime research, novel writing research, and updates.


ROBIN LYONS, AUTHOR, WEBSITEBLOG POST #256: When a Special Agent with the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is investigating you, big trouble may soon knock on your front door.

When one ex-con does odd jobs for another ex-con you’d assume they were up to no good. And you’d be partially correct.

One convicted felon for burglary worked with another convicted felon for kidnapping, sexual battery, and grand theft. The convicted felon with the more serious crimes on his resume approached the one who had committed fewer crimes with an ‘easy money’ proposition. Assuming he wanted a drug-runner, he told him no.

The friend approached the other again, but with more specifics. If they bombed a retail store chain at random locations in several states, the value of the company’s stock would drop. Then they could purchase stock and wait for the stocks to rebound. “Easy money,” he said, and that he’d pay him $10,000 for his involvement.

The one man told his probation officer and became a confidential informant for the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The bomb-maker had concealed the devices in common food packages like stuffing mix, breakfast bars, and pasta. After he received the devices, the informant turned them over to ATF. An explosives enforcement officer determined the devices were capable of property damage, serious injury, or death to people nearby at the time of detonation.

The two felons met at a restaurant to finalize the plan. The informant wore a secret recording device. On the recording, the bomb-maker said,

If someone has to die so that I can make some money, so be it.”

ATF and other agencies executed a search warrant. They found the bomb-making materials matching those in the devices. And because he was a felon on parole, it was a violation to have bomb-making materials in his possession.

He went to trial. A federal jury found him guilty of attempted arson, possession of an unregistered National Firearms Act (NFA) destructive device, and making an unregistered NFA destructive device.

A U.S. District Judge sentenced the 50-year-old man to 40 years in prison.

What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about true-crime and books.

Do you know of a crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!


Source: U.S. District Court, U.S. Department of Justice, The Daytona Beach News-Journal

Have you joined the club? Find out more at:  Reader Club

Where to buy Robin Lyons books

Available wherever you purchase or borrow books—including libraries. If the books aren’t on the shelf, ask for them to be ordered.

Where to buy Robin Lyons books

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.