A Florida man is facing federal charges after authorities say he sold a pipe bomb he built at his house to an undercover detective for $800.
James John Hall, a 34-year-old from Zephyrhills, Florida, was arrested this week after a Tampa police detective working with an FBI task force said that Hall told a confidential informant he was in possession of a homemade pipe bomb at his house that could be purchased for $800, WTVT-TV reported.
The confidential source said they became acquainted with Hall last year, when he sold them marijuana, and Hall showed the source a photo of the bomb that consisted of three to four plastic jars taped together and painted with camouflage.
Hall was communicating with an informant for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, who reached out to the sheriff’s office prompting a further coordinated investigation with the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), where an undercover Pasco Sheriff’s detective met with Hall to purchase the pipe bomb along with a Glock 17 pistol Hall had offered for sale.
"When asked about future purchases, Hall indicated he ‘had enough to build six more now,’" the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida said in a release. "Hall also indicated that the device he was selling to the undercover detective had a magnet on the bottom because it was "meant for somebody else."
The release states that the bomb was disassembled by ATF technicians.
"The disassembly and examination of the device revealed a metal pipe that was sealed at both ends (with end caps) and filled with suspected pyrotechnic powder, with a suspected pyrotechnic fuse inserted into one of the end caps," authorities said. "The pipe was taped to suspected mixed explosive materials. ATF found no records for Hall in the National Firearm Registration and Transfer Record, indicating he was unlawfully in possession of the device."
The criminal complaint states that Hall is facing one count of unlicensed distribution of explosive materials, one count of possession of an unregistered destructive device and one count of unlawful making of a destructive device.
Hall faces up to 10 years in federal prison on each count if convicted.