Feds: Houston man bought explosives to 'blow up a building'

HOUSTON - A Houston man is in federal custody after allegedly buying explosives because he wanted to blow up a building "to send a message."

Cary Lee Ogborn, 50, was arrested Friday after picking up a package he believed contained the explosives, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Investigators say Ogborn planned to use the explosives to “kill, injure, or intimidate any individual or to damage or destroy a vehicle or building.”

According to the criminal complaint, Ogdon ordered the explosive materials from an online marketplace that allows vendors and users to remain anonymous while buying and selling illegal goods. Or so he thought. 

Ogborn allegedly sent a private message through the network asking for items he said he planned to use to blow up a small building. Using the alias "Boatmanstv," Ogborn allegedly communicated with someone he thought was a vendor, but it was actually an undercover FBI employee.

"Looking for wireless transmitter with detonator. Everything I need to set of [sic] a 5 gallon can of gas from a good distance away. Thanks. boatmanstv." 

The "vendor" replied a few days later in broken English and asked which country to send it to. 

"Going to ignite gas because it is the cheapest way I know. If you know cheaper please inform," boatsmanstv replied. "Don't need big explosion, just need to make sure building 20ft x 40 ft made of wood burns to the ground. I don't have a problem with being close buy[sic]... The explosive will be placed under the center of the building because it is up on blocks. The city is going to be Houston Texas... Thanks for all help. P.S. can you get dynamite in sticks or 1/4 sticks?"

He later added a grenade to his order, according to court documents. Ogborn wrote that he wanted to use it to scare the person inside the building so they'd walk outside before he blew it up.

The vendor said the explosives would be stashed inside a toy. "Look like birthday gift you know. We send many country this way that pass custom no problem."

After receiving notice that his package had arrived in his post office box, surveillance video showed Ogborn picking it up. 

He was arrested by federal agents after opening it a few hours later. 

Investigators say "boatmanstv" had purchased 32 items worth over $15,000 from the same website, but didn't say what they were. 

If convicted, Ogborn faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. 

Ogborn has a long rap sheet, mostly for weapons and drug charges. 

In 2013, Ogborn posted on Facebook that he had just been released from prison after getting caught with an AR15. He said it was in violation of his probation for being "a bad boy in my younger days."

The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, Montgomery County Narcotics Enforcement Team and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

(© 2016 KHOU)


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