December 5, 2012 at 4:28 PM
NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - Early this morning, North Caldwell resident Anthony Nicholas Gallo, 20, was arrested and charged with “Transportation of Explosive Materials.”
According to US Attorney Paul Fishman, Gallo was arrested for transporting to Pennsylvania a PVC pipe which contained Potassium Chlorate and Magnesium. The Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Federal Bureau of Investigation under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, and other agencies are involved with the investigation.
Gallo is to appear before US Magistrate Judge Mark Falk in the federal court in Newark at 2:30pm today to be charged with the complaint of “transporting explosive materials without a license or permit.” If convicted of the charges, Gallo faces a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
FBI Special Agent Marcus Iticovici affirmed this morning that “on or about January 8, 2012, in the district of New Jersey and elsewhere, defendant Anthony Nicholas Gallo did knowingly transport and cause to be transported explosive materials without a license or permit issued by the United States Attorney General.”
Iticovici added this was in violation of “Title 18, United States Code, Section 841, 842a3a, 843 and 844.”
According to Iticovici, on February 7, 2012, Gallo’s parent contacted an Associate Dean of Students at a university located in South Dakota. The parent requested that Gallo’s belongings “be packed and stored for either subsequent pick-up or for shipment back to his permanent home address in North Caldwell, New Jersey, as he would not be returning to the university.”
The Resident Assistant of Gallo’s dorm, upon entering his room to begin packing, viewed “several items in the room, including different types of unidentifiable chemicals.” The Resident Assistant then called local law enforcement.
FBI Agent Iticovici provided to US Magistrate Judge Mark Falk this morning a list of what was allegedly observed by law enforcement in Gallo’s room that February 7th day:
* A ballpoint pen which had been modified to contain “strike anywhere matches” along with an “improvised thermite mixture.” Steel balls were planted at the end of the pen and the entire mix was wrapped in “blue painter’s tape.” Strike-anywhere matches are presently banned on US aircraft under 'dangerous goods' classification.
Agent Iticovici explained that, “Improvised thermite is typically a mixture of Iron Oxide Powder and Aluminum Powder and is an incendiary mixture. The combination of the mixture, and the “strike anywhere matches” that could be used to ignite the mixture, could propel the steel balls as a form of shrapnel.”
* Gray duct tape, about the size of a tennis ball, shaped into a pyramid. Sticking out of an opening at the top of the duct tape pyramid was a fuse. Agent Iticovici related that, “South Dakota law enforcement ultimately determined that the item contained approximately 500 match heads.”
* Ash remains contained in a clear plastic bag which Agent Iticovici explained were, “consistent with a burned improvised thermite mixture.”
* A box of Marlboro Cigarettes which was modified to contain a 9-volt battery. The battery had red and white wires attached by “gray duct tape, black electrical tape, and a small piece of cardboard encapsulating a silver foil object” according to Agent Iticovici.
* An apparently hand-drawn wall poster. Agent Iticovici explained, “the images were of, among other things, an arrow pointing down to the initials of the University on a platform, and a cigarette package marked with the word ‘DEAD’ moving toward the platform.”
* A 5 pound bag of Red Iron Oxide powder. The bag was labelled, “Alpha Chemicals / Red Iron Oxide Fe203 / Weight: 5 lbs. / Handle with Care Follow the MSDS [Material Safety Data Sheet].” Agent Iticovici instructed, “while Red Iron Oxide powder has industrial uses, it is also one of the ingredients of Thermite, which can be used in destructive devices.”
* A Ziploc bag which contained powder which was the same color as the powder in the Red Iron Oxide bag. This bag, however, was labelled “Aluminum Powder / 100 Grams / Health-1 / READ MSDS BEFORE OPENING / KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.” “Aluminum Powder and Red Iron Oxide are the only two ingredients necessary to create Thermite,” explained Agent Iticovici.
* Match sticks with the heads removed.
Agent Iticovici described how, after processing the items in Gallo’s room at the South Dakota university, the law agents questioned several of Gallo’s acquaintances. The first acquaintance purportedly was a childhood friend of Anthony Gallo who had just seen Gallo within the previous two weeks. The acquaintance apparently related that they had written back and forth over email with Gallo about “making bombs, fireworks, or other explosive materials” and Gallo had specifically asked this acquaintance how to make the fireworks through the use of chemicals.
Apparently the law officials also conducted a court authorized search of Gallo’s now-removed Facebook account. FBI Agent Iticovici explained, “The search generally revealed, among
other things, the defendant’s obsession with explosives.”
According to Agent Iticovici, on January 8th, the following items were allegedly posted by Gallo on his Facebook page:
* 5:27am, Gallo: “bout to drive to Pìstolvania to blow up some sick sh*t.”
Another person wrote back: “whatcha gonna doo.”
* 5:31am, Gallo: “400 ml KcIo3+mg.”
According to Agent Iticovici, “KcIo3+mg represents the formula for Potassium Chlorate and Magnesium, chemicals that when combined, can produce an explosion.” One minute later, the person alluded to above wrote, “oh my.”
* 5:34am, Gallo: “yea in a pvc pipe.” “PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride,” expressed FBI Agent Iticovici, “the pipe provides a contained environment for these chemicals that would be conducive to a more powerful explosion.”
* 5:35am, Gallo: “its sickkk lol we gotta drive to like the middle of f***ing nowhere.” The second person apparently wrote back, “hahah is it worth it though?”
* 5:45am, Gallo: “yea this sh*t will blow ur arm off.”
* 5:47am, Gallo: “I gottsta goo tho im pisto1vania bound!”
Later on that afternoon, Gallo purportedly continued to update his Facebook account.
* 5:02pm, Gallo: “. . . yooo that sh*t we set off in pistolvania was NUTS.” The same individual who responded earlier to Gallo’s wall post apparently wrote back again with an undisclosed comment.
* 5:09pm, Gallo: “my frdend took a video ill show u wen he sends it to me. it def had more explosive power than a mark II fragmentation grenade it was sooooooooo loud.”
Agent Iticovici asserted today that “at approximately 7:30pm, the defendant posted that he had driven over 200 miles in three states.” Agent Iticovici further detailed that Gallo’s parent’s E-Z Pass records apparently confirmed that their KIA travelled to Pennsylvania at the time indicated by Gallo in his Facebook posting.
Later that month, on January 19, 2012, Anthony Gallo was apparently admitted to a New Jersey emergency room. This morning Agent Iticovici affirmed that “the defendant was admitted to the Emergency Room of a hospital in New Jersey for burn injuries from a Potassium Chlorate explosion.”
Once again, according to the FBI Agent, on January 24, 2012, Gallo purportedly commented on his Facebook account that his “face was half burned off.” A new individual apparently wrote, “what did yu do?” Gallo apparently responded, “potassium ehlorate explosion. KCIO3 is a common oxìdizer that they used to use in grenades back in wwdeuce.”
KCIO3 again being Potassium Chlorate.
FBI Agent Iticovici explained that, “Chlorate explosive mixtures have been designated in the Federal Register as explosive materials covered under Title 18, United States Code, A Section 841(c),”
A representative of the US Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives confirmed to Agent Iticovici that, “there were no applications for the defendant Anthony Gallo for a user permit or license, and that no user permit or license for transportation of Chlorate explosive mixtures was ever issued to the defendant ”
U.S. Attorney Fishman this morning applauded the efforts of the FBI-Joint Terrorism Task
Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, for leading today’s arrest. The task force is based in Newark, and is composed of personnel from 30
Federal, State and Local agencies from throughout the region. He also thanked the North Caldwell Police Department and the Essex County Sheriff's Office for their roles in the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joyce M. Malliet, of the Newark National Security Office represents the government on this case.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations and the
defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
For more information:
The United States Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey
970 Broad Street, 7th Floor
Newark, NJ 07102
Link to Gallo Complaint: Click Here