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Teen gets more than 2 years in prison on bomb charges

Published: Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 1:15 a.m.CDT

EAST ST. LOUIS (AP) – A southwestern Illinois teenager apologized in court Friday before being sentenced to 2.5 years in federal prison for possessing explosive devices just 2 days after the Boston marathon bombing, timing his father has said was poor for his son.

Thomas Lee Stanton, who pleaded guilty in August to a charge of unlawfully possessing destructive devices, also was ordered to spend 3 years on post-prison supervised release.

“In a sense, I know what I did was wrong and I am regretful that I endangered myself and anyone in society,” Stanton told U.S. District Judge David Herndon during his hearing. “I do wish to be a functioning member of society. I’m just hoping I can go home with probation and time served.”

Stanton, who turns 19 next week, was an O’Fallon Township High School student when he was arrested in April after authorities found bomb-making equipment in his home. Stanton admitted he had “cricket” bombs made from carbon-dioxide cartridges, two Molotov cocktails and other explosive making materials, including fuses and explosive powder.

Stanton had no previous criminal history.

Tom Gabel, his attorney, asked Herndon Friday to release Stanton with credit for eight months of time served in jail, according to a report ( ) in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Stanton’s father, Dan Stanton, declined comment after the sentencing, the Post-Dispatch said.

But the elder Stanton has said he thought authorities were making an example his son because of the Boston marathon bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260 people on April 15, just two days before Thomas Stanton’s arrest.

The judge acknowledged that the context of Stanton’s case “is not lost on anyone” but said the crimes warranted prison time.


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

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