TOPEKA, KAN. - Jarrett William Smith, 24, Ft. Riley, Kan., pleaded guilty today to unlawfully distributing instructions for making explosive devices over social media while he was a member of the U.S. Army, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.
Smith pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing information related to explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction. Smith joined the Army June 12, 2017. He served as an infantry soldier and was trained in combat and tactical operations. He was transferred to Fort Riley in Kansas July 8, 2019.
The FBI received information that Smith gave out guidance to others on how to construct improvised explosive devices. He spoke to others on social media about wanting to travel to Ukraine to fight with a violent, far-right military group.
On September 20, 2019, from Fort Riley Smith sent a person working undercover for the FBI specific instructions for making an explosive device. He also provided a recipe for creating improvised napalm.
Sentencing is set for May 18. Smith could face up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count. McAllister commended the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Mattivi for their work on the case.
TOPEKA, KAN. - A soldier stationed at Fort Riley was charged in federal court here today with sending over social media instructions for making bombs, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.
Jarrett William Smith, 24, Fort Riley, Kan., was charged with one count of distributing information related to explosives and weapons of mass destruction.
Smith, a specialist first class infantry soldier, joined the Army June 12, 2017, and was transferred to Fort Riley, Kan., on July 8, 2019. According to an FBI investigator’s affidavit, Smith said on Facebook he was interested in traveling to the Ukraine to fight with a paramilitary group called the Azov Batallion.
During a Facebook chat, Smith offered to teach other Facebook users to make cell phone explosive devices “in the style of the Afghans.” On Aug. 19, 2019, Smith told an undercover investigator he was looking for “radicals” like himself. Smith talked about killing members of Antifa and destroying nearby cell towers or a local news station. On Aug. 21, Smith told an undercover investigator about how to make a vehicle bomb. When the investigator commented that most of the components were household items, Smith said: “Making AK47s out of expensive parts is cool, but imagine if you will if you were going to WalMart instead of a gun store to buy weapons.”
Smith also described in detail to the undercover investigator how to build a bomb that could be triggered by calling a cell phone.
“Be very careful with the fully armed device,” Smith warned the investigator.
If convicted, Smith could face up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Mattivi is prosecuting.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.