Ex-West Paramedic Reaches Plea Deal In Explosives Case

By: Sara Humphrey Email
By: Sara Humphrey Email
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A former West paramedic who was accused of possessing bomb-making material pleaded guilty to two counts Thursday in federal court in Waco.

Bryce Ashley Reed leaving the McLennan County Jail in August. (Photo by Matt Howerton)

WACO (October 10, 2013)--Johnny Cox, the Abbott resident with whom former West paramedic Bryce Ashley Reed left the box containing the pipe bomb components spoke publicly for the first time Thursday, telling News 10 he doesn’t think Reed should have been allowed to agree to a plea deal.

“I think it needs to be fair and it needs to be just, but I don’t think it needs to be a deal,” Cox said.

Cox, who said he used to be Reed’s friend, said Reed asked him in April to come to West to pick up a box that “had some stuff in it that he didn’t particularly want anybody to know about.”

Reed didn’t tell him what was in the box, and Cox says he didn’t ask, and not until 10 days later did he look to see what the box contained.

“I tilted the box open just to see what was in one of them and the very first thing I saw was a fully put together pipe bomb,” he said.

The assembled bomb did not have a fuse and did not contain powder, he said.

Cox called authorities, who later wired him with a hidden transmitter before he met with Reed in the parking lot of a Waco motel where federal agents were staked out to watch.

“I just told him the (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) came to my house searched my house and found all your stuff."

Cox said he no longer considers Reed a friend.

“Why would you think I was still your friend after you put my family in danger, put me in danger,” he said. (John Carroll)


WACO (October 10, 2013)--Bryce Ashley Reed, 31, the former West paramedic who was accused of possessing bomb-making material in the aftermath of the deadly fertilizer plant explosion, pleaded guilty Thursday to attempting to obstruct justice and conspiracy to make a destructive device.

Reed entered the plea Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Waco.

He was originally indicted on May 14 by a federal grand jury in Waco for possession of a destructive device, but his attorney announced Wednesday that Reed had agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors.

U.S. District Judge Walter Smith will sentence Reed on Dec. 4.

The charges carry a possible sentence of 25 years.

Sibley said Reed decided to enter the plea because he wants to accept full responsibility “for what he believes is his role in the allegations against him” and to spare family and friends from what Sibley said would likely be “a hotly contested and long and drawn out jury trial.”

Reed, who was released to the custody of his mother and stepfather on Aug. 22, was never linked to the April 17 explosion that killed 15, injured hundreds and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes and buildings.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents arrested him on May 9 in West after pipe bomb components were found on May 7 at the home of an Abbott resident who “had unwittingly taken possession of the components from Reed on April 26,” an arrest warrant affidavit said.

(Read The Affidavit)

The components included a 3.5-inch by 1.5-inch length of galvanized pipe with end caps, in one of which was drilled a 1/8th-inch hole, the affidavit said.

Authorities also recovered hobby fuse, a lighter, a digital scale, a plastic spoon, six coils of metal ribbon, several pounds of chemicals in separate bags including potassium nitrate, potassium perchlorate, sulfur power, air float charcoal and aluminum power, the affidavit said.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives experts who inspected the material agreed that the components could “be readily assembled into a destructive device,” the affidavit said.

Reed was scheduled to go on trial on Oct. 15.

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