Former West EMS Volunteer Sentenced To Prison

A former West EMS volunteer accused of possessing bomb-making material in the aftermath of the deadly April fertilizer plant explosion was sentenced to prison Wednesday.

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

WACO (December 4, 2013) Former West EMS volunteer Bryce Ashley, Reed, who pleaded guilty in October to attempting to obstruct justice and conspiracy to make a destructive device, was sentenced to 21 months in prison Wednesday afternoon.

He must also spend three years on supervised release and was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and a $200 special assessment to the court.

The charges carry a possible sentence of 25 years.

Reed remains free on bond and will be allowed to report to begin serving the sentence.

He may be able to remain with his family through Christmas, his attorney, Jonathan Sibley said.

Reed and his family are hoping that he’ll serve the sentence at the federal prison facility in Seagoville, Sibley said.

Reed and family members prayed in the parking lot before entering the federal building in downtown Waco.

He said he wanted people to know that he loves his community and would never do anything to harm it.

The former West paramedic, who was accused of possessing bomb-making material in the aftermath of the deadly April fertilizer plant explosion, was originally indicted on May 14 by a federal grand jury in Waco for possession of a destructive device, but later agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors.

Sibley said Reed decided to enter the guilty plea because he wanted 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 have been "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.

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