A man who detonated an explosive device under a bridge in Bedford, Texas has been sentenced to 46 months in federal prison, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah.
Nicholas Lloyd Nelson, 38, pleaded guilty in June to possession of a destructive device. He was sentenced earlier this month by U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor.
According to court documents, law enforcement responded to an explosion in Bedford, Texas at 4:35 p.m. on April 7, 2021.
Upon arriving at the scene, bomb technicians saw a crater beneath a bridge on Forest Ridge Drive. Next to the crater, they observed explosive components, including a speaker wire and container debris. They also found an un-detonated explosive device along the roadway and performed a controlled detonation.
Witnesses told law enforcement they’d noticed a young, white man emerge from under the bridge just after the explosion. Based on their descriptions and prior experience with the defendants, officers located Mr. Nelson.
At his home, they found components that could be used to assemble explosive devices. They also identified Mr. Nelson in dozens of YouTube videos posted by the account “Improvised Chaos” that showed him manufacturing and detonating explosive devices.
In plea papers, Mr. Nelson admitted to detonating the unregistered device under the bridge. In interviews, he told law enforcement he’d constructed the bombs with potassium perchlorate, an substance commonly used in pyrotechnics, munitions, and explosives.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office and the Bedford Police Department conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Bedford Fire Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Weimer prosecuted the case.