SAN FRANCISCO – A federal jury convicted Ross Gordon Laverty of multiple felonies in connection with mailing two explosive devices with the intent to injure or kill his targets, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and U.S. Postal Inspection Service Inspector in Charge Rafael Nuñez.
The verdict was delivered after a one-week trial before the Hon. William H. Orrick, United States District Judge.
“A federal jury convicted Ross Laverty of mailing two bombs through United States Post Office to homes in East Palo Alto and Alameda. In addition to his intended victims, Laverty put others, including postal workers and mail carriers in grave danger,” said U.S. Attorney Anderson. “The guilty verdicts are a reminder that law enforcement will investigate unlawful use of the mail, whether for the violent ends Laverty sought, or other illegal purposes.”
“As the law enforcement and security arm of the U.S. Postal Service, the safety of postal employees and the public is our top priority,” said Postal Inspector in Charge Nuñez. “Postal Inspectors worked closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the East Palo Alto Police Department, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department, the Alameda Police Department, the Oakland Police Department, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI, the Verdugo Crime Laboratory, and especially the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to arrest and prosecute the individual responsible for mailing two explosive devices, one to East Palo Alto, CA and one to Alameda, CA, endangering U.S. Postal Service employees and the public.”
The evidence at trial established that on or about October 9, 2017, Laverty, 59, of Oakland, mailed an improvised explosive device to an address in East Palo Alto, Calif., that the victim opened on October 19. The victim carried the package outside of his home and opened it in his back yard, causing it to detonate, inflicting injuries to him, and blasting a hole through a wood frame and fence. Further, the evidence at trial established that on or about November 24, 2017, Laverty mailed an identical explosive device to an address in Alameda. The intended victim’s wife opened the package inside of her home, causing it to explode. Additional evidence proved Laverty’s motives for mailing the devices. First, evidence demonstrated Laverty sought revenge against a corrections officer sharing the same name as the East Palo Alto victim who had strip searched Laverty while he was incarcerated at San Mateo jail in April of 2014. Second, the evidence demonstrated Laverty sought revenge against an Alameda Police Department Officer involved in the probation search of his residence and his arrest in October of 2013.
On May 21, 2019, a federal grand jury handed down a superseding indictment charging Laverty with two counts of mailing an explosive devise with the intent to injure or kill, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1716(a) and (j)(2); two counts of possession of an unregistered firearm, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d); and two counts of using an explosive during the commission of a felony, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 844(h)(1) and (2). Laverty was found guilty on all counts.
Laverty faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, maximum fines of $10,000 to $250,000 per count, a term of supervised release, and restitution. The sentence following conviction will be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
The prosecution was handled by the Special Prosecutions Unit at the United States Attorney’s Office. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service with assistance from numerous local and federal law enforcement agencies.