Phoenix man gets 10 years for plan to attack local union hall

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by Jennifer Thomas

azfamily.com

Posted on September 29, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 29 at 8:22 PM

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix man who pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of 26 pipe bombs was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

Michael Roy Turney, 62, received the maximum sentence Tuesday after 29 functional explosive devices, including three incendiary devices and 26 pipe bombs, were discovered during a search of his home on Dec. 11, 2008.

Authorities said the bombs were fully assembled with fuses and contained gun powder and steel shot for additional fragmentation. One of the bombs, which was about 2 feet long and 6 inches in diameter, was packed with gun powder and roofing nails.

Based on the size and quantity of the explosives, 21 homes in the neighborhood had to be evacuated.

"The cache of dangerous weapons found in Turney's house were not for decoration -- they put hundreds of Arizonans at risk," said Dennis Burke, U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona. "Turney was living in a world of delusion, was armed to the max with live bombs and ammunition and had formulated a plan to harm Arizonans."

Along with the pipe bombs, police found handguns, shotguns, semi-automatic rifles and a substantial amount of ammunition in Turney's home.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, authorities also found a series of hand-written notes that appeared to be an operational plan for an attack on the local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers' union hall.

According to documents recovered at Turney's home, he intended to ignite and drive a van into the fenced property of the union headquarters and shoot 100 rounds at the door and at anyone moving.

The district court judge stated she was "appalled" by the danger the defendant posed to the community. She said that with so many explosive devices in his home, the defendant had "turned his house into a bomb."

Citing in part the need to protect the community, the district court judge issued the maximum sentence provided by law.

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