Whittemore Man Pleads Guilty to Placing Pipe Bombs at Phone Stores

John Douglas Allen, 76, pleaded guilty Monday before United States District Judge Thomas Ludington in Bay City to placing packages containing pipe bombs outside of two cellphone stores. Allen admitted that on the morning of September 15, 2021, he placed a box containing an improvised explosive device outside of an AT&T store in Sault Ste. Marie, and placing another device outside of a Verizon store in Cheboygan that same evening.

FBI investigators say that both devices contained shrapnel as well as a note demanding 5 million dollars. Using video footage from both stores and nearby businesses in their investigation, agents determined that Allen was the one who had placed the packages.

Prosecutors praised the efforts of first responders and bomb technicians who resolved the dangerous situation safely.

Allen has also pleaded guilty to placing letters that threaten telecommunications providers at multiple cell towers in the Upper Peninsula. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on November 9th.