California man sentenced to 30 months for pipe bomb possession

A man from Fresno, California, was sentenced on Monday to 30 months in prison for violating the National Firearms Act, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced the sentencing of John Smilanick on Monday. On January 9, 2013, police were called to Smilanick's ex-neighbors' home after a bomb was reportedly detonated.

Police found the remnants of a detonated pipe bomb. The ex-neighbors said they believed Smilanick detonated the bomb, as they'd had ongoing issues with him.

According to a plea agreement, police obtained a search warrant for Smilanick's residence and allegedly discovered bomb making materials in the garage and a live pipe bomb in the house. Officers also allegedly found the remnants of two different detonated devices.

Smilanick admitted to manufacturing the devices, which he said he'd been making since he was in the sixth grade. He referred to the pipe bombs as firecrackers and said he'd made three that year. None of the pipe bombs were registered with the National Registration and Transfer Record.

"This investigation is an example of the excellent cooperation we have with both the Fresno Police Department and the community as a whole," Joseph Riehl, the ATF special agent in charge, said. "Because of this cooperation, we were able to seize these dangerous explosive devices, and ensure the violator faces justice."