Jail time for Sacramento pipe bomber

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A man who left several homemade pipe bombs and a crude gun with the ability to fire a live shotgun shell outside of an elementary school with children nearby will spend the next three years in the Sacramento County Jail.

Gustavo Aguilar, 58, pleaded no contest last month to three counts of making a bomb threat and one count of possessing a zip gun – all of which were charged as felonies. State laws surrounding zip guns, or improvised firearms, allow prosecutors to use discretion in choosing whether to file felony or misdemeanor charges for the crime.

Aguilar appeared out of custody alongside his attorney Linda McReary in a Sacramento courtroom before Judge John P. Winn, who sentenced him to three years in county jail with four days of time served.

“It’s a straight three years, four months,” Judge Winn said.

Aguilar was arrested last March by EOD Technicians and bonded out on $25,000 bail just hours later. He was later re-arrested with his bail raised to $150,000 after prosecutors declared him a flight risk in court and said he wrote the words “I’m a killer” and the name of a former school employee on the zip gun. He later bonded out a second time.

On March 2nd, authorities responded to a 911 call about a suspicious device from a Boy’s and Girl’s Club employee on the Ethel Baker campus. Two devices were found and rendered safe by responding deputies. One was a steel pipe, sealed at both ends and filled with firecrackers, gasoline, shrapnel, and clay putty. The other was a crude version of a firearm made out of steel piping and loaded with a 12-gauge shotgun shell. The weapon could be fired using a spring-loaded cap in a similar fashion to a slingshot.

On March 19th, a second pipe bomb was found on the Ethel Baker campus, which was live and contained explosive components. Three days later, on the 22nd, a third pipe bomb was found near the front door of the Elevated Gymnastics Academy on Dwight Road. All three of those devices, as Aguilar admitted, belonged to and were placed there by him.

Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gong said Aguilar’s motive was to “intentionally cause fear to kids and the personal safety of others”, and he was remanded into custody after the hearing was adjourned. Once his sentence is up, he will not be placed on supervision.

Ethan Biando
Ethan Biando is a freelance journalist from Sacramento. His writing focuses on crime, courts, and policing. Find him on Twitter @ethanb822

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