FAA-Recognized Pilot from Lindenhurst in Lake County Was Building Pipe Bombs?

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MICHAELSUOPYSMichael Suopys (Police Photo).

A man who allegedly manufactured explosive devices and kept them in the bedroom of his Lindenhurst, Illinois home in Lake County was ordered detained in federal custody today. An informant tipped off authorities on Thursday that Michael Suopys might be buying supplies online to build a weapon at his home in the 800 block of Jefferson Drive in Lindenhurst, prosecutors said.

Lindenhurst police and the FBI executed a search warrant at the home Friday and found two pipe bombs, an empty steel pipe, a PVC pipe containing a motor, lab equipment and two metal pipes containing cotton-like substance consistent with nitrocellulose — a highly flammable cotton-like compound used in explosives, prosecutors said.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier ordered Michael Suopys, 28, held without bond on a charge of knowingly possessing an unregistered destructive device. A detention hearing is scheduled for June 15, 2016, at 10:30 a.m.

A federal criminal complaint alleges that Suopys built two pipe bombs by filling a metal pipe with Nitrocellulose and adding a wick. Suopys was also charged in Lake County Circuit Court with possessing bombs containing an explosive substance, which is a Class 3 felony. The state charge was dismissed this morning.

“Thankfully, law enforcement at the federal, state and local level was able to identify and safely interrupt the threat described in the complaint,” said Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. “The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office and Lindenhurst Police Department are to be commended for their diligence and collaboration in this investigation.”

The federal complaint was announced by Mr. Fardon, along with Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI; Michael G. Nerheim, Lake County State’s Attorney; and Tom Jones, Chief of the Lindenhurst Police Department.

The federal charge carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

In September 2013 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recognized Michael Justin Suopys with inclusion in the prestigious FAA Airmen Certification Database. The database inclusion recognizes certified pilots who have met or exceeded the high educational, licensing and medical standards established by the FAA (A502307900 MICHAEL JUSTIN SUOPYS 807 JEFFERSON DR LINDENHURST IL60046-7842USA GL3082011082016/Upload Date June 1, 2015 Airmen CertificationAirmen Certification Database).

The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Hiller.

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