A Casselberry man was arrested by federal agents last Thursday after he was caught selling homemade explosive devices in Winter Park.
Last week marked the end of a six-month-long investigation by the Federal Bureau of investigation on Casselberry resident Carl Joseph Thomas Pisa, who was arrested after he sold multiple explosive devices to undercover agent Kelly Boaz, a bomb technician with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
Pisa was charged with possessing an explosive device not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. He could face as much as 10 years in prison if convicted, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The FBI first learned about Pisa’s illegal activities last December when they stumbled upon an online listing regarding a “military simulator” for sale.
Boaz contacted Pisa through Facebook expressing an interest in buying the devices, meeting with him three times outside the Miller’s Ale House along Lee Road in Winter Park.
“Pisa also explained that the simulators as constructed could take out a car or half a house,” federal agent Reginald Young wrote in criminal complaint from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Boaz purchased multiple explosive devices during his encounters with Pisa, including ones Pisa said release ball bearings “in a perfect cone upon initiation,” which he claimed to have tested in a dumpster.
“Agent Boaz described the devices as twelve cylindrical shaped devices wrapped in ball bearings and held together with blue tape with a fuse extended from the top,” Young wrote in the criminal complaint.
“Agent Boaz asked Pisa, ‘this could kill somebody?’ Pisa replied ‘yes.’”
The description of the devices resembles those used during the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013. The bombs planted by suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were built inside pressure cookers and packed with nails, scraps of metal and ball bearings.
Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured during the bombing.
“Many of the victims were hit with a lot of small metal debris,” Dr. Peter Fagenholz, a trauma surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, told CNN.
William Daniels, public affairs specialist from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said that Pisa has since been released on a $50,000 bond and a trial date has yet to be set.