Jury Finds Man Guilty Of Trying To Detonate Explosives-Laden Van In OK

A 24-year-old man is guilty of trying to detonate what he believed was an explosives-laden van outside an Oklahoma City bank, a federal jury ruled Monday.

Jurors convicted Jerry Drake Varnell, of Sayre, of attempting to use an explosive device to damage a building and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Prosecutors alleged that Varnell planned to detonate what he thought was a half-ton (450-kilogram) vehicle bomb on Aug. 12, 2017. The FBI learned of the plan and an undercover agent posing as someone who could help construct the device provided inert materials.

Varnell had pleaded not guilty and his defense attorneys claimed he was entrapped. His parents testified that he is a paranoid schizophrenic who has been in several mental hospitals.

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Source: TPM