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Former Soldier Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 18 Months in Prison for Illegally Transporting Grenades to the Bronx

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 13, 2012
  • Southern District of New York (212) 637-2600

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Anthony Cibelli was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court by U.S. District Judge Harold Baer to 18 months in prison for the unlawful transportation of grenades. Cibelli pled guilty in September 2012 to the unlicensed transportation of destructive devices from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to the Bronx before United States Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “Grenades are weapons of war that belong on the battlefield, not in a residential neighborhood where they have the potential to do great harm. By his conduct, Anthony Cibelli put both himself and others at great risk, and he has had to answer for that conduct.”

According to the complaint, the information to which Cibelli pled guilty, other publicly filed documents, and statements made during court proceedings:

Cibelli served in the Army until 2010, when he was discharged from active duty. On March 31, 2010, Cibelli arranged for two grenades and various other military items to be transported from Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, to his residence in the Bronx. On December 23, 2011, law enforcement officers searched Cibelli’s Bronx residence, which resulted in the recovery of two grenades on the roof outside of the window of Cibelli’s bedroom, and six M-16, 30-round magazines. Law enforcement officers also recovered two improvised explosive devices, four firearms, several rounds of ammunition, and a number of other items that apparently belonged to the U.S. military.

Cibelli later admitted to law enforcement officers that he brought the grenades back with him from Iraq, where he had been assigned for military service, and that, on the morning of December 23, 2011, he panicked when the police arrived at his residence and placed the grenades onto the roof outside the window of his bedroom. Cibelli further explained that he transported the grenades and other military items by concealing them in a bag that he placed in a shipping container that was sent to Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Cibelli retrieved these items at Fort Bragg and transported them to the Bronx.

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In addition to the prison term, Judge Baer sentenced Cibelli, 25, of the Bronx, New York, to three years of supervised release.

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the New York-based Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), especially those JTTF members from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Police Department, and the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorney John P. Cronan is in charge of the prosecution.

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