Breckenridge Texan

Breckenridge man faces charges for possession of pipe bomb

Breckenridge man faces charges for possession of pipe bomb
April 19
11:51 2018

A Breckenridge man has been arrested and indicted on federal charges for possessing a pipe bomb, stemming from a November incident in Breckenridge.

On Friday, April 13, John Devin Diaz, 27, of Breckenridge was arrested by the Breckenridge Police Department on a charge of failure to display a registration sticker, as well as on a warrant for a prohibitive weapon by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. On Tuesday, April 17, he was transferred by U.S. Marshals to the Taylor County Jail in Abilene, where he is being held on a charge of Possession of an Unregistered Firearm.

Diaz was indicted on March 21 by a Grand Jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas-Abilene Division on one count of Possession of an Unregistered Firearm. According to the indictment, on or about Nov. 27, 2017, Diaz knowingly possessed a destructive device commonly known as a “pipe bomb,” which is classified as a firearm under the U.S. Code of Laws, Title 26, section 5845. See links at the end of this article for PDFs of the court documents.

Specifically, the violation was under the U.S. Federal law covering “Machine Guns, Destructive Devices, and Certain Other Firearms.” The sections that Diaz is charged under are 5861 (d) and 5871. Section 5861 (d) states that it is unlawful for any person to receive or possess a firearm which is not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. Section 5871 states that any person who violates or fails to comply with any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $10,000, or be imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both. For more details, click here to read the actual law.

Click here to read the U.S. Code defining firearms -- Story continues below

According the the U.S. Code: The term “firearm” means (1) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (2) a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (3) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (4) a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (5) any other weapon, as defined in subsection (e); (6) a machinegun; (7) any silencer (as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code); and (8) a destructive device. Additionally, the U.S. Code states: The term “destructive device” means (1) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas (A) bomb, (B) grenade, (C) rocket having a propellent charge of more than four ounces, (D) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, (E) mine, or (F) similar device; (2) any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Secretary finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes; and (3) any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into a destructive device as defined in subparagraphs (1) and (2) and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled.

According to Breckenridge Police Chief Larry Mahan, on Nov. 27, 2017, Diaz was initially pulled over for a traffic stop in Breckenridge. He was detained by officers at the scene because of an outstanding municipal warrant. His vehicle was then searched, and officers discovered the explosive device, according to the police chief.

Diaz told police that he had received the pipe bomb as a hoax, according to Mahan.

Mahan said police contacted the ATF office in Fort Worth, which took possession of the device and took over the investigation.

According to Special Agent Meredith K. Davis, a Public Information Officer with the ATF Dallas Field Division, the device was sent to a lab for analysis. The device was determined to be a what is commonly referred to as a “pipe bomb,” according to the indictment.

Diaz will be arraigned at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 24, by U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Scott Frost at the U.S. Courthouse in Abilene. According to court documents, pending the hearing, he is to be held in custody by the U.S. Marshal.


Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Photo source: Taylor County Jail

John Devin Diaz Indictment

John Devin Diaz Arraignment and Detention Document

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