SACRAMENTO, CA—United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Daniel Richard Garcia, 30, of Fairfield was convicted today of malicious use of explosives, possession of a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence, and two counts of possession of unregistered destructive devices. The guilty verdict was returned by a federal court jury in Sacramento after a four-day trial before United States District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton.
According to testimony presented at trial, at approximately 1:00 a.m. on May 27, 2011, Garcia placed a bomb underneath an SUV parked next to an apartment building in Fairfield. The bomb detonated, causing a fireball and sending shrapnel into the car and the nearby apartment building where two young children were sleeping. Investigators were able to piece together parts of the bomb and link them to Garcia.
The targeted SUV belonged to Garcia’s former tenant and Garcia was angry that the tenant had taken a cable box and left behind trash when moving out. Garcia testified at trial that he had become “numb” about the dispute. During a June 16, 2011, search of Garcia’s house, law enforcement found and disabled a second bomb. Garcia was found and arrested two days later after a police stand-off.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Fairfield Police Department, and the Yolo County Bomb Squad. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael D. Anderson and Phillip A. Talbert prosecuted the case.
Garcia is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Karlton on April 3, 2012, at 9:15 a.m. The maximum statutory penalty for malicious use of explosives is 40 years in prison, the maximum penalty for possession of a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence is life in prison, and the maximum penalty for possession of an unregistered destructive device is 10 years in prison. Garcia faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 35 years. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.