Oakland mail bomber sentenced to 40 years in prison

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Ross Gordon Laverty, who sent mail bombs in 2017, was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison Thursday. His main targets were the homes of law enforcement officers in Alameda and East Palo Alto and have done it out of revenge.  

Laverty was convicted in October 2022 for sending improvised explosive devices to a corrections officer who had strip-searched him while he was incarcerated at a San Mateo County jail and to an Alameda police officer involved in a probation search of Laverty’s that ended in a drug arrest. 

According to a press statement from U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California Stephanie Hinds, the device, which is a coin epoxied to the end of the pipe, was designed to shoot like a projectile when the package was opened. 

Ross Gordon Laverty (U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE)

Evidence showed one package was mailed to the wrong person who happened to share the same name as the corrections officer that left him injured. The second bomb was opened by the police officer’s wife who managed to throw it away after seeing wires inside the package. It exploded and left her injured. 

“My heart goes out to the innocent victims of these horrific acts,” said Hinds in a prepared statement. “Ross Laverty not only injured the victims, he put mail carriers and handlers and numerous others at risk of serious injury and death. The public must be protected from such reckless, violent crimes. I thank our law enforcement partners, both federal and local, who worked long and hard to solve and prosecute these crimes.” 

In May 2019, a grand jury returned a superseding indictment against Laverty, charging him with two counts of mailing an explosive device with the intent to injure or kill, two counts of possession of an unregistered firearm (the explosive device), and two counts of using an explosive during the commission of a felony. He was found guilty on all counts in October 2020.

In addition to the 40-year sentence, U.S. District Judge William Orrick imposed a three-year term of supervision following Laverty’s release from prison and ordered that he pay restitution to his victims.