Niagara Gazette

December 2, 2012

Falls bomb maker spared jail time

By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — A Falls man whose apartment was found littered with homemade explosive devices has been sentenced to six months of interim probation.

Thomas Jamieson, 25, 2867 Falls St., had pleaded guilty to a single count of attempted third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He faced a possible sentence that ranged from probation to 1 1/2 to 4 years in state prison.

Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III imposed the probation sentence to allow Jamieson to continue with mental health treatment. The use of "interim" probation will allow the judge to carefully monitor Jamieson's behavior

His sentencing had been on hold, since his guilty plea several months ago, because Jamieson had been hospitalized in the psychiatric unit of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. He was recently released from the hospital and certified to be mentally competent for sentencing.

Falls Police Warrant Services officers made what could have been the possibly deadly discovery when they went to a Jamieson's home on April 17. Officers Troy Earp and Tina Zell were attempting to arrest Jamieson on a violation of probation charge.

Detectives said later that Earp, who has extensive military training, spotted what appeared to be homemade explosive devices, that had been created using items that are readily available at most any hobby stores. The devices also had small amounts of was described as jet or rocket fuel.

Residents of the Falls Street neighborhood were evacuated from their homes, while the Erie County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the federal Joint Terrorism Task Force were called in.

All the devices turned out to be missing ingredients or parts that would have made them active.

“There was nothing terrorism or otherwise related," Falls Police Detective Lt. Mike Trane said at the time. "It was just a young man who was, unwisely, making home bombs.”