Springfield Man Faces Federal Pipe Bomb Charge

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Anibal Castro, Jr., 33, of Springfield, Vermont, has been charged with unlawful possession of a “destructive device” (“Pipe Bomb”), in violation of the National Firearms Act. On May 20, 2022, Castro appeared for his arraignment in U.S. District Court in Burlington and pled not guilty to the charge. At a prior hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle granted the government’s motion for detention and ordered Castro detained until trial.

According to court records, the government alleges that on April 6, 2022, while the Springfield Police Department and Vermont State Police were executing a state search warrant at Castro’s Valley Street residence, they discovered a ten and one-half inch pipe bomb. The pipe was made of aluminum with crimped metal ends covered in tape and had a pyrotechnic fuse extending out from inside the pipe. The words “BYE BYE !!” were written on the outside of the pipe. The pipe contained 650 BB pellets and black powder. The government alleges that the presence of BBs “further weaponized” the device. 

The charge against Castro is an accusation only and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. If convicted, Castro faces a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment and three years of supervised release. Any actual sentence will be advised by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. 

This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Springfield Police Department, and the Vermont State Police. The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Perella. Castro is represented by Sara Puls, Esq. of the Office of the Federal Public Defender.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime https://www.justice.gov/psn