A 35-year-old South Carolina man faces up to 10 years in a federal prison after admitting that he attempted to purchase a bomb as part of a plot to kill two of his former co-workers. His guilty plea was entered during a Sept. 14 change of plea hearing and announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina. The Easley resident, who will learn his fate after a federal judge reviews the case, has been held without bail since being taken into custody in March.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation began investigating the man after a concerned individual reported that he planned to blow up a Pickens County business. The individual is said to have told the FBI that the man was angry at his employer and his colleagues after being fired. Reports suggest that the man may have also had a racial motive as the workers he became embroiled in a dispute with were referred to as being of a different race in media accounts.
FBI agents say that they became convinced that the man posed a legitimate threat during an undercover investigation. He is said to have attempted to purchase a bomb for $100 from an undercover agent. The agent claims that the man planned to plant the bomb in the home shared by two of his former colleagues and was especially concerned about the likely blast radius.
Undercover work is a crucial part of law enforcement, but strict rules must be followed police officers and federal agents who deal with suspects while violent crimes are being planned. Experienced criminal defense attorneys may seek to have charges dropped when these rules have been ignored and their clients have been coerced, harassed or otherwise induced into committing crimes.
Source: The Greenville News, “Easley man who wanted his co-workers ‘terminated’ pleads guilty in murder-for-hire plot”, Anna Lee, Sept. 14, 2018