- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A western Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to possessing a destructive device after police reported finding homemade bombs and white supremacist literature in his home a year ago.

Eric Charles Smith, 37, of Baldwin, entered the plea Tuesday before U.S. District Court Judge Mark R. Hornak. Smith was ordered held without bail pending his Dec. 3 sentencing.

Federal prosecutors said police arrested Smith in July 2014 on domestic violence charges against his girlfriend and his 5-year-old child. While he was still in jail, his girlfriend told police she obtained a protection from abuse order against Smith and wanted officers to remove his belongings.

They reported finding about 20 improvised explosive devices, precursor chemicals, remote detonators and bomb-making recipes and literature.

Among the devices was a six-inch long fused cylinder device. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives determined it contained a powder explosive, as well as nails and other fragmentation taped to the outside of the cylinder. They found that the device was operable and fell within the legal definition of a “destructive device.”

In addition to being a convicted felon that is prohibited from possessing such a weapon, Smith has no items registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

They also said they found white supremacist and Nazi paraphernalia, a podium and business cards indicating that the home was the meeting place for a group called the “White Church Supremacists.”

Authorities said Smith, a convicted felon, is barred from possessing weapons or explosive devices. He faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.


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