Maryland Couple Arrested for Selling Explosive Devices to Undercover ATF Agent

October 5, 2020

Brittany Nicole Adams, 29, of Landover, MD, and Anthony Benson, Jr., 30, of Washington, D.C., have been indicted and arrested for conspiracy to distribute explosive devices and three counts of distribution of explosive devices.

The charges were filed in an indictment unsealed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, announced U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin and Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The investigation began after ATF identified advertisements on a website that offered for sale explosive devices described as “Dynamite,” and available for local pickup in Washington, D.C.  An undercover agent responded to the ad and arranged to meet with the seller at a predetermined location in Washington, D.C.

In June of 2020, ATF agents conducted an undercover controlled purchase of suspected explosive devices after Adams and Benson met with the undercover agent in response to communication related to the sale advertisement.

At the meeting, Adams provided the undercover agent with eleven suspected illegal explosive devices in exchange for U.S. currency. Subsequently, on two additional occasions in July of 2020, Adams and Benson met with the undercover agent and again provided to the undercover agent illegal explosive devices in exchange for U.S. currency.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

In announcing the charges, Acting U.S. Attorney Sherwin and Special Agent in Charge Benedict commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Finally, they cited the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory V. Cole of the Federal Major Crimes Section, Paralegal Specialist Teesha Tobias, and Legal Assistant Kate Abrey.