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A young couple from the Washington, D.C., area was indicted and arrested for allegedly selling multiple illegal explosive devices to an undercover agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Southern Maryland News Net reported that 29-year-old Brittany Nicole Adams of Landover, MD, and 30-year-old Anthony Benson, Jr. of Washington, D.C., were arrested for “conspiracy to distribute explosive devices and three counts of distribution of explosive devices.”
The investigation into the couple began when ATF found advertisements for explosive devices being offered for sale. The ad listed the explosives as “dynamite.” An undercover ATF agent inquired about the explosives and agreed to meet with the seller in Washington, D.C.
“In June of 2020, ATF agents conducted an undercover controlled purchase of suspected explosive devices after Adams and Benson met with the undercover agent in response to communication related to the sale advertisement,” News Net reported. “At the meeting, Adams provided the undercover agent with eleven suspected illegal explosive devices in exchange for U.S. currency. Subsequently, on two additional occasions in July of 2020, Adams and Benson met with the undercover agent and again provided to the undercover agent illegal explosive devices in exchange for U.S. currency.”
The charge comes months after the ATF investigated a man who allegedly threw an “incendiary object” at a federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, The Daily Wire previously reported. Oregon Live reported at the time that ATF discovered the identity of the suspect by reviewing video and photographic evidence and comparing it to social media accounts:
According to court documents, at approximately 11:50pm on July 28, 2020, security cameras at the Hatfield Federal Courthouse captured footage of a large incendiary object enter the building’s portico area and land near plywood sheeting affixed to the building’s façade. A few seconds later, the object exploded, igniting a fire near the building’s main entrance. Federal law enforcement personnel collected various items near the site of the explosion and sent them to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) laboratory for further analysis.
ATF investigators reviewed social media posts from the night of the explosion and located videos of the incendiary object being thrown. The individual depicted throwing the object, later identified to be Agard-Berryhill, was a young, Caucasian male wearing a green colored vest, camouflage pants, and a mask. Investigators observed the person in other protest-related videos posted online wearing the same vest and attempting to hold a shield in front of a naked woman.
An online product review for the vest also showed a picture of the person matching the description of the suspect. The review was from his grandmother.
“I got this [vest] for my grandson who’s a protestor [sic] downtown, he uses it every night and says its [sic] does the job,” the review noted.
Gabriel Agard-Berryhill, 18, turned himself in for the crime, Oregon Live reported:
[He] told federal officers that an unknown man in a ski mask handed him what he thought was a spinner-type firework that would rotate with varied colors when lit.
He admitted he lit the device, described as the size of a piece of chalk, and threw it over the fence, according to Amanda Johnson, an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.