Man convicted of using WMD in San Diego courthouse bombing

The perpetrator of the 2008 bombing of the San Diego federal courthouse was recently sentenced to 55 years in prison for using a weapon of mass destruction.

Donny Love, Sr., the plot's mastermind, persuaded his girlfriend and two others who depended on him for their supply of narcotics to carry out the bombing in the middle of the night. Love planned to then contact the authorities with information leading to their arrest so he could collect reward money.

The explosive device they used consisted of three powerful pipe bombs that were stuffed inside a backpack filled with 110 roofing nails. The bomb blew out the doors of the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Courthouse and sent shrapnel over a block away and at least six stories into the air.

"The plot seems so odd and bizarre, but you can begin to understand it when you understand Love's ability to control and manipulate the people around him," U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Justin Zuccolotto said. "His actions showed that he was a predator who didn't care about anyone but himself."

Zuccolotto said that it was lucky that the crime did not include murder. He said that there was clearly no reason why nails were put in the bomb since the explosion alone would have accomplished their objective.

Members of the FBI's San Diego office responded by sending the Bureau's Evidence Response Team and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. A large amount of evidence was left from the crime, including surveillance tape of a person igniting the backpack.

Love contacted the FBI through an attorney and said he would exchange information about the crime for $75,000 and leniency on criminal charges against him. His plan unraveled, however, when two of his accomplices, including his girlfriend, began to cooperate with authorities.