Jonestown Man Sentenced to 30 Months for Possessing Pipe Bomb in Hospital Garage

Jonestown Man Sentenced to 30 Months for Possessing Pipe Bomb in Hospital Garage
Raymond Luke Garner

Raymond Luke Garner, a resident of Jonestown, has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for possessing an unregistered destructive device, specifically a pipe bomb that detonated in a hospital parking garage. The sentence was handed down in a federal court in Austin.

The incident occurred on August 9, 2023, when Garner parked his pickup truck in the parking garage of St. David’s Hospital in Austin. Shortly after, an explosion rocked the area, originating from the back of Garner’s truck. Investigators discovered the remnants of a pipe bomb near the vehicle, along with homemade high explosives, circuit boards, timers, and electric matches.

During his detention by law enforcement, Garner contacted an individual to request the removal of a box from his home. Subsequently, the box was found to contain additional high explosive materials, precursor chemicals, and electric matches. Further searches at various locations uncovered a recipe for the high explosive, as well as remote control devices and other components for destructive devices.

Garner pleaded guilty to the charges on October 2, 2023.

U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas emphasized the serious risks posed by unregistered homemade pipe bombs, stating, “The law prohibits the possession of unregistered homemade pipe bombs for a good reason: they put the community at serious risk.” Esparza commended the collaborative efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation.

Special Agent in Charge Mike Weddel of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Houston Division reiterated the danger posed by improvised explosive devices, emphasizing ATF’s commitment to investigating and holding accountable those responsible for such devices.

Special Agent in Charge Aaron Tapp of the FBI’s San Antonio Field Office highlighted the potential harm caused by Garner’s actions, expressing gratitude to law enforcement partners for their efforts to ensure community safety.

The investigation was led by the ATF and FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, with assistance from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Austin Police Department, Austin Fire Department, and Cedar Park Police Department.