Maker of Illegal Explosive Devices Sentenced to Nearly 10 Years

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PHILADELPHIA, PA — United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that David Perez 37, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced on March 17, 2023, to 110 months imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $75,218.40 in restitution to the Philadelphia School District and $43,500 in restitution to Wells Fargo Bank by United States District Court Judge Michael M. Baylson for engaging in the business of manufacturing explosive devices, possession of explosives by a convicted felon, malicious damage to a building/institution receiving federal financial assistance, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of phencyclidine (PCP), and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

Perez previously pled guilty to manufacturing illegal explosive devices for several years prior to his arrest in June 2021.  Devices consistent with those made by Perez were found at numerous post-blast scenes, including at multiple scenes where explosive devices were used to attempt to access ATMs in the summer and fall of 2020.

Perez admitted to using some of his homemade illegal explosive devices on July 4, 2020, in the courtyard of the Honorable Luis Munoz-Marin Elementary School in Philadelphia.  Use of these devices caused extensive damage to property inside and outside the school, and resulted in damage to numerous windows.  Repairs to the school cost more than $75,000.

Upon arrest Perez was found in possession of multiple firearms and distribution-level quantities of PCP in his home.  He also participated in a bank fraud conspiracy, which led to a loss of $43,500 to Wells Fargo Bank.

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“Perez’s Sentencing… should serve as a cautionary tale to others considering producing, possessing, or selling an illegal explosive device,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “Detonating powerful explosive devices on the grounds of an elementary school, and possession of firearms and distribution-quantity PCP, all by a convicted felon, is the very definition of a threat to public safety.  The U.S. Attorney’s office, with our law enforcement partners, will continue to pursue these cases relentlessly, and David Perez will spend nearly ten years in federal prison.”

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General, and the Philadelphia Police Department, with substantial assistance from the Philadelphia Fire Marshal’s Office, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Amanda R. Reinitz.

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