Phone stores

Michigan man charged with allegedly leaving pipe bombs in cellphone stores to stop spread of swearing and pornography, Justice Department says

CNN has reached out to Allen’s attorney, Stevens J. Jacobs, for comment.

The incidents began on August 25, when an employee at a telecommunications tower in St. Ignace, Michigan found a letter inside a polka dot envelope sealed in a plastic bag. At least two other letters in similar packaging were found the following day, according to the affidavit.

The letters said they were from a group called “Coalition for Moral Telecommunications (CMT)” and were addressed to “AT&T, Verizon and all other carriers”. The group’s letter stated that they were “nearly thirty strong”, that their reach spanned 27 states, and that they were prepared to travel across the United States in order to destroy “center tower communication -city” to stop the spread of immoral content, according to the affidavit.

The group demanded a payment of $5 million within 180 days. The letter said that if members of the CMT were arrested, then “your troubles will begin” and “the price will increase a hundredfold”.

Three weeks later, on September 15, a man was seen on surveillance footage leaving a U.S. Postal Service box with black tape and a wire sticking out of it outside an AT&T store in Sault Ste. Marie and another at a Verizon store in Cheboygan, Michigan, according to the affidavit. Sault Ste. Marie is near the Canadian border in northern Michigan, with Cheboygan being 73 miles to the south.

Both boxes corresponded to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or pipe bombs. In addition to explosive materials, the Sault Ste. The Marie box contained metal BBs and the Cheboygan box contained nails, according to the affidavit.

“The potential explosion of these devices could cause property damage, personal injury, and/or death. Each of the devices consisted of a metal pipe nipple with two metal end caps, which provided containment for the main powder charge low explosive,” the affidavit read. “Metallic spheres and studs were found in the powders of each device.”

Allen is expected to make his first court appearance on Friday before Magistrate Patricia Morris.