Thursday, May 29, 2008
Domestic Terrorism. CHESTERFIELD STUDENT INDICTED ON EXPLOSIVE CHARGES
COLUMBIA, South Carolina -- Acting United States Attorney Kevin F. McDonald announced today that a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Florence, South Carolina, returned an Indictment against Ryan Anthony Schallenberger, age 18, of Ruby, South Carolina, in connection with an alleged plot to blow up Chesterfield High School. Schallenberger was charged in the three-count indictment with:
(1) receiving and attempting to receive an explosive with the knowledge and intent that it would be used to kill, injure, or intimidate an individual, and damage and destroy a building, vehicle, or other real and personal property, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 844 (d), and punishable by a maximum possible prison term of ten years;
(2) attempting to damage and destroy real property owned, possessed, or leased to Chesterfield High School and the Chesterfield County School District, by means of fire and an explosive, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 844(f)(1), and punishable by mandatory minimum prison term of five years and a maximum possible term of 20 years; and
(3) possessing an unregistered destructive device, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Sections 5861(d) and 5871, and punishable by a maximum possible prison term of ten years.
Schallenberger was initially arrested last month on a federal complaint that cited his alleged conduct as being in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2332a, involving a weapon of mass destruction. Mr. McDonald state that the WMD charge was not presented to the Grand Jury for its consideration. “Having considered the circumstances of this matter, and having reviewed the evidence obtained to date, I believe the case is properly charged. The explosives charges that were issued by the Grand Jury today are very serious charges,” Mr. McDonald said.
Schallenberger’s arraignment is tentatively scheduled for 10:00 a.m., at the Federal Courthouse in Florence on June 10 th.
The case was investigated by ATF, FBI, SLED, and the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Rose Mary Parham and Buddy Bethea of the Florence Office.
Mr. McDonald stated that the charges in this Indictment are merely accusations and that the defendant charged is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty