Shelton man arrested in alleged plot to blow up Walmart, two gas stations while he robbed banks

Staff writerApril 29, 2014 

Federal authorities arrested a 53-year-old Shelton man Monday and charged him with plotting to blow up the Shelton Walmart and two gas stations as part of a scheme to rob three banks.

A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court, in Tacoma, outlines Larry Gillette's alleged scheme to plant powerful bombs at the Shelton Walmart and two nearby gas stations. Gillette wanted to inflict "maximum loss of life," so he could divert emergency responders and simultaneously rob three banks, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle.

Gillette, who got out of prison on April 14 after serving a sentence for identity theft, is scheduled for a first appearance in U.S. District Court in Tacoma at 2:30 p.m. today. He is charged with solicitation to commit a crime of violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

An undercover FBI agent befriended Gillette in Shelton after Gillette's release from prison. According to the criminal complaint law enforcement had learned that Gillette told other prison inmates of his plans to rob three banks and set off bombs as a diversion.

Gillette enlisted the undercover FBI agent to assist him after his release from prison, according to the news release. The undercover FBI agent posed as someone who could help Gillette obtain guns and explosives for the plot.

On two different occasions in April, the FBI recorded Gillette on audio and video as he described his plot to the undercover agent while they drove around Shelton.

Gillette obtained four Glock pistols for his plot, but they were modified by authorities so they would not fire.

The FBI arrested Gillette Monday when he met with the FBI agent and attempted to ignite a car bomb. The "bomb" was inoperable.

The Seattle Safe Streets Task Force investigated the case, including FBI agents and Seattle police officers, along with the Mason County Sheriff's Office, the Shelton Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

 

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445; jpawloski@theolympian.com

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