BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – A Connecticut man once known as the Internet's most notorious pirate of music and movies was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison for blowing up a portable toilet.
Bruce Forest, 50, was charged last year with a series of toilet explosions in 2005 and 2006. But under a plea agreement, Forest admitted only to blowing up one toilet in Weston in February 2006. No one was injured in any of the blasts.
“I have been portrayed as some kind of mad bomber, like Timothy McVeigh, and nothing could be further from the truth,” Forest told the Weston Forum in a jailhouse interview published May 16.
Currently housed at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Center in Center Falls, R.I., Forest granted the newspaper an interview earlier this month during which he acknowledged wrongdoing.
"I can’t blame this on anyone but myself," Forest told the paper. "I did something stupid. I made a mistake and wasn’t thinking properly.”
Forest's defense attorney and his wife said the incident was completely out of character for Forest. They said he had been addicted to painkillers initially taken for migraine headaches caused by a severe fall about 10 years ago. Subutex, a prescribed drug intended to wean him off the painkillers, caused psychotic episodes, they said.
Prosecutors said Forest began a string of bombings in Weston where he blew up portable toilets in 2005 and 2006. He was also charged in explosions at the former Fitch School in Norwalk and at an abandoned gas station in Weston.
Most of the explosions occurred at night in isolated areas, but the last blast in Norwalk occurred during the day in a heavily populated area, authorities said. The explosives involved a mixture of chemicals, police said. Prosecutors said they were detonated by an assault rifle.
Forest was an Internet pirate in the late 1990s, said J.D. Lasica, a San Francisco writer who dubbed Forest "Prince of the Darknet" in his 2005 book "Darknet: Hollywood's War Against the Digital Generation."
His wife also discounted those claims. She said he actually worked with the federal government to tighten safeguards against piracy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.