Man held in plot to bomb Shelton store, rob banks

FBI claims suspect, 53, wanted maximum loss of life in blast planned to divert police while he robbed 3 banks

jpawloski@theolympian.comApril 30, 2014 

Federal authorities have arrested a 53-year-old Shelton man 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.

According to his criminal complaint, Gillette also was planning to shoot people during the “takeover” style bank robberies.

Gillette, who got out of prison on April 14 after serving a sentence for identity theft, had a first appearance in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on Tuesday afternoon. Arrested Monday, he was charged with solicitation to commit a crime of violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was being held Tuesday night at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac.

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 another prison inmate of his plans to rob three banks and set off bombs as a diversion.

An inmate working as a confidential informant for the FBI introduced Gillette to the undercover FBI agent, telling Gillette the FBI agent was his “cousin,” according to the criminal complaint. The confidential informant also told Gillette that his cousin would help him with his plans to rob the banks and blow up buildings in Shelton, the criminal complaint states.

Gillette enlisted the undercover FBI agent to assist him, according to the criminal complaint. The undercover FBI agent posed as someone who could help Gillette obtain guns and explosives.

On two 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 Mason County Sheriff’s Office, the Shelton Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and other agencies participated in the investigation.

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

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