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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
for the District of Colorado United States of America v. ) ) ) ) ) )
RICHARD LAWRENCE SANDBERG
I, James Anderson, the undersigned complainant, being duly sworn, state the following is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief:
On or about 01/18/2013, in the State and District of Colorado, Richard Lawrence Sandberg, defendant herein,
All in violation of Title 26, Unites States Code, Section 5861(d).
I further state that I am a Task Force Officer with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and that this complaint is based on the following facts: See Affidavit attached hereto and herein incorporated by reference, which is continued on the attached sheet and made a part hereof.
s/ James Anderson
James Anderson, TFO ATF
Printed name and title
Sworn to before me and signed in my presence. August 25, 2012 Date: 23 Jan 2013
Judge’s signature e
City and state:
Michael E. Hegarty, U.S. Magistrate Judge
Printed name and title
Case 1:13-mj-01008-MEH Document 1-1 Filed 01/23/13 USDC Colorado Page 1 of 7
AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF CRIMINAL COMPLAINT
I, James Anderson, Task Force Officer with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, being duly sworn, deposes and states under penalty of perjury that the following is true to the best of my information, knowledge and belief. 1. I have been employed as a Task Force Officer for ATF since May 23, 2005. In such
capacity, I investigate violations of federal criminal law, including firearms offenses, and am authorized to make arrests for federal crimes. In conjunction with being a Task Force Officer (TFO) with ATF, and being sworn into the United States Marshal’s Service as a Special Deputy United States Marshal, I am also a Detective with the Denver Police Department assigned to the Investigative Support Bureau.
I assert that there is probable cause to believe that Richard Lawrence Sandberg, date of birth
05/19/1977, has violated Title 26 United States Code, Section 5861 (d) Possession of a Destructive Device not registered to him/her in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. The statements set forth in this affidavit are based upon my training and experience, consultation with other experienced investigators, agents, and other sources of information related to this and other firearms investigations. This affidavit is intended to set forth probable cause in support of the criminal complaint and arrest warrant and does not purport to set forth all of my knowledge regarding this investigation.
On 01/18/2013, I was contacted by DPD Detective Frank “Mike” Gassman in reference to
the possible illegal possession of firearms and manufacturing and possession of destructive devices
Case 1:13-mj-01008-MEH Document 1-1 Filed 01/23/13 USDC Colorado Page 2 of 7
i.e. pipe bombs and possible military hand grenades, by an individual identified as Richard Lawrence Sandberg DOB 05/19/1977.
Detective Gassman advised that he was in contact with a DPD previously reliable
Confidential Informant, hereinafter referred to as the CI, who wanted to provide information on Richard “Rick” Sandberg. The CI advised that he had been over to Sandberg’s residence within the last week and had observed numerous firearms and hand grenades and found that Sandberg wanted to trade these items for cocaine.
On this date (01/18/2013) at approximately 5:19pm ATF Special Agent (SA) Shane
Abraham acting in an undercover capacity, made a recorded telephone call to Richard Sandberg in an effort to work out a “deal” on trading narcotics for destructive devices and/or explosives.
SA Abraham then spoke with the CI, who then placed Sandberg on the telephone to speak
with SA Abraham. (The CI later confirmed to me that the person SA Abraham was speaking with on the telephone was in fact Richard Sandberg). Sandberg first said that he is former Special Ops Recon SS Marine Corps and told SA Abraham that they are on the telephone (indicating not to say much on the over the phone) and then immediately recommended that SA Abraham not use “incinerary” (incendiary) or “napalm” even though he currently had those items, because they burn too hot, at 3800 to 5000 degrees and he (SA Abraham) would not have anything to put that out with.
Sandberg asked SA Abraham if he wanted something that was homemade, or waterproof
and stated that SA Abraham needs a “frag” (referring to a fragmentation device). Sandberg said that he has “M67s” (grenades) which are military ordinance and he also has “homemade” devices. SA Abraham told Sandberg that he needed something to protect an out building with and Sandberg said
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that the CI has photographs of what he (Sandberg) has. Sandberg said that he “builds his own shit makes his own shit” (referring to the destructive devices) and there is nothing that comes from the gun store. Sandberg said that he specialized in demolition and these (devices) make a big boom and not a small boom and said that he has 11 homemade “frags” and the kill zone would be 20 meters and the hurt zone is 60 meters. Sandberg asked SA Abraham if he needed remote detonation and if so the M67s are too large.
Sandberg said that his “homemade shit” is nothing from the gun store and you can get these
supplies from a Home Depot, but you need the “formula”. At this time Sandberg said that he would give SA Abraham a device with a 60 second fuse and it will contain 60 stainless steel BB’s and this will do a lot of damage and hurt someone. Sandberg told SA Abraham that the chemicals are over the counter, but you need to know how to put them together and they are “not firecrackers, not things to play with” and they are “life or death”.
Sandberg went on to tell SA Abraham that he has 18, M67s and will only sell 5 of them.
Sandberg said that he would sell the M67s for $300.00 each and they are federal fragmentation grenades, “federal issue”. Sandberg said that he has a lot of different “shit” (referring to explosive devices) and told SA Abraham to come by his residence and see them. SA Abraham told Sandberg that he is headed out of town to pick up (referring to drugs) and won’t be available tonight. In speaking about a trade, or sales of the explosives devices, Sandberg said that he needs to be compensated for anything that he was issued, because a civilian can’t get it, but the homemade “shit” he is open on (referring to the type of compensation). The telephone call was ended at approximately 5:34pm.
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On 01/22/2013, SA Abraham acting in an undercover capacity, through the CI, contacted
Sandberg by telephone during a controlled phone call and asked if he (Sandberg) wanted to meet. Sandberg told SA Abraham to come by his residence (which was 4648 South Swadley Way in Morrison, Colorado). At approximately 5:45pm, SA Abraham and the CI went to 4648 South Swadley Way and met with Sandberg. Upon arrival, Sandberg was standing in the driveway of the residence with the garage door open. SA Abraham then met with Sandberg.
During the meeting with Sandberg, SA Abraham noted the following information: SA
Abraham stated that Sandberg claimed to be a former United States Marine, Force Recon/SF demolition expert and said the US government paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn how to build bombs and kill people. Sandberg also claimed to have made claymore and IED (improvised explosive devices) using glass shrapnel while deployed in a war zone, so that the shrapnel could not be detected inside the bodies of the enemy. Sandberg claimed to have been active in war zones in Iraq, Somalia, Africa, and Pakistan and showed SA Abraham a spiral bound binder/notebook with numerous written instructions and manuals on how to build bombs and bomb making materials.
Sandberg claimed a right wing declaration of independence/constitutionalist political
manifesto and made disparaging remarks about the current administration and them wanting to take away his guns. Sandberg made numerous threatening statements towards law enforcement (LE) and specifically ATF, stating if any LE or ATF came inside his house, to take his guns, it would be a bad day for them and lots of them would die. Sandberg stated that he was ready and willing to die. Sandberg told SA Abraham that no ATF, or LE SWAT team was capable of taking him out of his
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house, that it would take a US Marine SF Recon team to take him out, because they were the only ones capable.
Sandberg showed SA Abraham a plastic ammunition box filled with approx 6 black pvc
pipe bombs and approximately 22 silver “crickets” (small silver destructive devices). Sandberg then gave SA Abraham 2 black pvc pipe bombs and 1 silver cricket destructive device. Sandberg stated to SA Abraham that he could manufacture anything SA Abraham wanted, including having access to C4 plastic explosives and blasting caps and further stated that he was in possession of, or had access to incendiary devices containing napalm. Sandberg stated that he had 18 M67 “frag” grenades inside his residence. The CI and SA Abraham showed Sandberg a photo of the grenades that Sandberg had previously allowed the CI to take photos of with the CI’s cell phone and Sandberg said those were the ones he had inside.
Sandberg told SA Abraham that he would charge SA Abraham $200 to $300 a piece for
those because they were “federal” and he would go to prison if he was caught with them. SA Abraham attempted to have Sandberg get one of the M67 grenades from inside the residence, but Sandberg said he didn’t want to get one for SA Abraham, because he was concerned that SA Abraham didn’t know how to use the grenades and would blow himself up. SA Abraham offered to pay for the pipe bombs and cricket, but Sandberg refused payment, saying that if SA Abraham liked them, they could set up a trade for cocaine. Sandberg told SA Abraham that he usually purchased approximately 1 ounce of cocaine at a time. Sandberg also stated that he was on valium twice a day. SA Abraham asked what Sandberg’s wife did and Sandberg made a gesture of snorting cocaine with his hand up to his nose. SA Abraham told Sandberg he could get up to 4 ounces of cocaine within
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approximately one hour and up to ½ lb of cocaine with a days notice and Sandberg was interested in that deal if SA Abraham liked the pipe bombs that he was going to test out.
Sandberg repeatedly attempted to get SA Abraham to leave the residence and travel with
one of the pipe bombs, or crickets to a nearby open space in order to test one out and blow something up. Sandberg made numerous comments about firearms and ammunition and stated that he owned a Berretta pistol, an H&K .45 pistol, an AR-15 5.56mm rifle, and a .50 caliber rifle. Sandberg made the inference or suggestion that one, or several of these firearms had been converted to machine gun/s and were illegal firearm/s. Sandberg also stated that he was in possession of several thousand rounds of ammunition and also in possession of uranium tipped armor piercing ammunition. Sandberg showed SA Abraham a Kevlar ballistic panel that was attached to an iron plate and a piece of plywood, approx 5’ x 5’ in size, that Sandberg stated he would use to fortify his windows and barricade himself if LE came to his residence. Sandberg also showed SA Abraham an iron plated door barricade with gun turret/cut outs, that he would use to barricade the door to his residence and attach an incendiary device to if LE came to his residence.
SA Abraham and the CI then left Sandberg’s residence with the 3 destructive devices. SA
Abraham immediately met with ATF Explosives Enforcement Officer (EEO) Gary Smith and Certified Explosives Specialist (CES) Matthew Traver. Both EEO Smith and CES Traver conducted a technical examination of the 3 devices SA Abraham had just received from Sandberg and found that each device contained Explosive powder, a fuse and shrapnel in the form of stainless steel ball bearings and each of the 3 did qualify as destructive devices under Title 18 United States Code Section 5861(d).
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I conducted research and had the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record
queried for Richard Lawrence Sandberg DOB 05/19/1977, Social Security #552-55-9071 and found that Sandberg has no firearms, destructive devices, or any other weaponry registered to him.
Based upon the aforementioned information, events, and my training and experience, I
submit that there is probable cause to believe that Richard Lawrence Sandberg, date of birth 05/19/1977 has committed a violation of the following federal firearm laws, which substantiates the issuance of an arrest warrant: Title 26, United States Code, Section 5861(d) – It shall be unlawful for any person . . . to receive or possess a firearm/destructive device which is not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.
I, James Anderson, being duly sworn according to law, depose and say that the facts stated in the foregoing affidavit are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, information and belief.
s/ James Anderson James Anderson, TFO Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
23rd January 3 Sworn to before me this_____ day of _____________, 201__.
____________________________ ____________________________ __ __ __ __ United States Magistrate Judge U it d St t M i t t J d
Affidavit reviewed and submitted by Jeremy Sibert, Assistant United States Attorney.
Case 1:13-mj-01008-MEH Document 1-2 Filed 01/23/13 USDC Colorado Page 1 of 1
DEFENDANT: Richard Lawrence Sandberg YOB: 1977 ADDRESS (CITY/STATE): Morrison, Colorado OFFENSE(S): Count 1: 26 U.S.C. § 5861; Possession of a Firearm which is not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record
LOCATION OF OFFENSE (COUNTY/STATE): Jefferson County, Colorado PENALTY: NMT 10 years imprisonment; NMT $10,000.00 fine, or both; NMT 3 years supervised release; $100 special assessment fee James Anderson Task Force Officer ATF
AUTHORIZED BY: Jeremy Sibert Assistant U.S. Attorney ESTIMATED TIME OF TRIAL: X five days or less over five days other
THE GOVERNMENT X will seek detention in this case will not seek detention in this case
The statutory presumption of detention is or is not applicable to this defendant. (Circle one) OCDETF CASE: Yes X No
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