31 homemade bombs in home of Morrison man accused of trying to trade weapons for cocaine, agents say

Feds outline case against Richard Sandberg

DENVER - Federal agents say they found 31 improvised bombs in the home of a Morrison man accused of trying to trade the weapons for cocaine.

Richard Sandberg, 35, was indicted by a Denver federal grand jury Tuesday on two counts of possession of unregistered destructive devices and one count of possession of firearms by someone using controlled substances.

Sandberg allegedly told an undercover federal agent he was willing to trade homemade fragmentation bombs for cocaine, according to the affidavit from the undercover investigation. Sandberg allegedly said that the bombs had a 20-meter "kill zone" and were laced with shrapnel and stainless steel BBs.

A search of his home by local police and federal ATF agents last week revealed 31 improvised bombs, a shotgun, a handgun, a rifle and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, authorities said in the hearing on Tuesday.

A former Marine, Sandberg claimed that he served in “Special Ops Recon SS Marine Corps” and was deployed to war zones in Iraq, Somalia, Africa and Pakistan, according to the affidavit. However, his official military personnel file indicates that he was discharged after two years of service in 2005 as a lance corporal, and he was never deployed.

According to the affidavit, Sandberg said that if law enforcement and "specifically ATF" agents came inside his house to take his guns, "it would be a bad day for them and lots of them would die," the affidavit said.

Sandberg was arrested at his home on Jan. 24.

Sandberg’s wife Cassandra admitted that she and her husband used cocaine recreationally at least twice a month, agents said.

According to the docket from Tuesday’s hearing, Sandberg has entered a plea of not guilty on all counts.

The defense says that Sandberg exaggerates often, that he never intended to hurt anyone, and that he did not have the arsenal federal authorities had feared. Agents did not find the machine guns, napalm or grenades that Sandberg claimed to have in his home in the 4600 block of South Swadley Way.

7NEWS reporter Russell Haythorn asked Cassandra Sandberg if she would like to make a comment as the couple left the federal courthouse.

“No comment,” Sandberg’s wife said.

Sandberg is scheduled to appear at the federal courthouse at 3 p.m. Wednesday for a detention hearing, where a judge will determine whether he can be released on bond. He could face 10 years in prison.