Jury convicts man in Oklahoma City bomb plot

Varnell, Drake

Drake Varnell, Oklahoma Department of Corrections 2015

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A man accused of trying to detonate what he believed was an explosives-laden van outside an Oklahoma City bank has been found guilty by a federal jury.

Jurors on Monday convicted 24-year-old Jerry Drake Varnell of attempted use of an explosive device and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Prosecutors alleged Varnell planned to detonate what he thought was a half-ton (450-kilogram) vehicle bomb on August 12, 2017. The FBI learned of the plan, and an undercover agent posing as someone who could help construct the device provided inert materials.

Varnell’s attorneys claimed he was entrapped and his parents said he suffers from mental health issues.

No sentencing date was set. Varnell faces up to life in prison for attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

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