A Gloversville man pleaded guilty on Friday to illegally possessing firearms as a felon and unlawful possession of six pipe bombs, according to federal officials.
Michael Darling, 42, of 14 McLaren St., is scheduled for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino on Feb. 4. He faces up to 10 years in prison as well as a fine of up to $250,000 and post-imprisonment supervised release of up to three years, officials said in a release. Darling has been in custody since his arrest.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Carla B. Freedman and John B. DeVito, special agent in charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Darling was arrested on Feb. 14 after police went to his residence to conduct a welfare check. Police seized six operable pipe bombs from his home. At the time of his arrest, police also recovered two firearms and ammunition, which Darling was prohibited from possessing as a result of a felony burglary conviction, according to the release.
Police went to Darling’s residence after relatives had signaled concern over his welfare. At his home, his then-girlfriend gave them permission to check on the residence and that is when they saw “a pipe that appeared to resemble a pipe bomb body” sticking out of a litter box, according to reports filed by prosecutors in the case.
Prosecutors also wrote in their report that police had “observed an open cardboard box in which they could see what appeared potentially to be pipe bombs and pipe bomb components.” Law enforcement also located what appeared to be 5-inch pipes capped at both ends with the fuse protruding from the ends of the pipes, prosecutors wrote. One of the officers with training in improvised explosive devices recognized the pipe bombs and at the time “the decision was made to evacuate the house and that of nearby neighbors.”
The case was investigated by the Gloversville Police Department, the New York State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Sharpe.