Richlands man pleads guilty to explosives charges

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 9:58 AM EST
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ABINGDON, Va. (WDBJ) - A Richlands man pleaded guilty Tuesday to possessing and manufacturing an unregistered explosive device, after visiting a health clinic in June 2020 with severe injuries.

According to court documents, 24-year-old Cole Carini visited a Richlands health clinic June 3, suffering from severe injuries to his hands and shrapnel wounds to his neck. Officers interviewed Carini, who claimed his injuries were caused by a lawn mower accident at his home.

Virginia State Police said agents found no evidence of a lawnmower being recently used. Investigators did find evidence of an explosion they said was more consistent with Carini’s injuries. Also found were drawings of improvised explosive devices, large amounts of what the agents believed to be Triacetone Triperoxide - an explosive substance used to create IEDs - and a partially-constructed pressure cooker explosive device. VSP said that device was similar to the one used in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Carini pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of possessing and manufacturing an unregistered explosive device. Sentencing has been scheduled for April 13, 2021. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

“The defendant put the safety of the community at risk when he built and then detonated an explosive device,” Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar said. “Thanks to the prompt response and careful investigation of our federal and state law enforcement partners, Carini is being held accountable for his dangerous acts.”

The investigation was conduced by the FBI, the ATF, Virginia State Police, the Richlands Police Department and the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office.

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