Ex-US airman in Oklahoma pipe bombing released from prison

BIXBY, Okla. – A former Air Force airman found not guilty by reason of insanity in the bombing of an Air Force recruiting office in Oklahoma is being released from prison.

In July of 2017,  officers with the bomb squad were called to an explosion at the U.S. Air Force Recruiting Center in Bixby. Fortunately, no one was injured since the recruitment center was closed at the time.

Investigators say the suspect threw a pipe bomb, which was concealed with a military style ammunition can, at the office, the affidavit states.

Air Force Recruiting Office Bixby

Officials identified Benjamin Roden as the person of interest in the case after receiving a tip about comments he made on social media.

Roden, a former Senior Airman in the U.S. Air Force, was trained as a firefighter but wanted to be trained as an electrician by the U.S. Air Force, court documents state.

His former commanding officer said Roden “hated the military and had received disciplinary actions for his conduct.”

He reportedly wanted to quit the Air Force and join the U.S. Marines.

When Roden was not accepted by the U.S. Marines, he allegedly blamed the U.S. Air Force, the affidavit states.

Benjamin Roden

According to the affidavit, when authorities went to Roden’s apartment, they reportedly found items associated with the manufacturing of explosive devices and two other pipe bombs.

A federal grand jury indicted Roden on charges that include using an explosive to damage federal property, using an explosive to commit felonies and possessing unregistered destructive devices. However, he was ultimately found not guilty by reason of insanity in October.

Federal court records in Tulsa show that 30-year-old Benjamin Roden was granted his conditional release Friday from a federal prison hospital where he received mental health treatment and that prosecutors agreed.

The Tulsa World reports that under the conditions of his release, Roden must continue to receive mental health treatment and take medication. Chief U.S. District Judge John Dowdell said he was persuaded by the hospital warden and a doctor that Roden will no longer be a risk if he follows the prescribed conditions.

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