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Criminal Justice News
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Chambers County Woman Gets 15 Years for Conspiracy Involving Bomb Making and Weapons Possession
HOUSTON – Pamela Leggett, 32, of Anhuac, has been handed a
15-year prison sentence following her conviction of conspiracy to illegally
make and possess unregistered firearms, including bombs, and to aiding and
abetting illegal possession of an unlawful machine gun, United States Attorney
Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent-in-Charge Melvin King Jr. Leggett
pleaded guilty March 30, 2012.
Today, U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon, who accepted
the guilty plea, handed Leggett the 180-month sentence. Leggett was given the
statutory maximum of 120 months for possession of an unlawful machine gun and
60 months for conspiracy to make and possess the unregistered firearms and
bombs, with her sentences to run consecutively. At the hearing today, the Judge
listened to argument about to what degree Leggett contributed to the events
that led to the death of a deputy sheriff and noted the lengthy sentence should
reflect the seriousness of the crime and the need to protect the community.
The charges and subsequent conviction arose from an
altercation with local authorities on July 13, 2009, during which the deputy
was shot and killed.
On that morning, two utility workers arrived at the
residence to turn off the water for non-payment of the utility bill, at which
time Leggett fired two shots in their direction, telling them to get off the
property. The utility workers immediately dialed 911. Four officers immediately
responded, one of which was aware that a man, woman and child resided at the
home. The officers approached the front door, knocked and announced themselves
to be police. When no one responded, one of the deputies loudly ordered they
open the door or police would force entry. No one responded. Shortly
thereafter, Leggett opened the front door and exited the home, at which time a
deputy saw a weapon tucked into her waistband which he soon confiscated.
According to court records, deputies were told by Leggett
that there was no one else in the home, however, concerned there was a child
present and for potential safety, officers entered the home. Hearing rustling
noises, the officers continued to announce they were the police and to come
out, when suddenly, shots were fired through a wall and a deputy was
immediately struck twice in the head and killed. A flurry of gunfire was
exchanged and law enforcement withdrew from the house, dragging the deputy with
Shortly thereafter, additional law enforcement agencies
and officers arrived on the scene, surrounded the house and were in a perceived
stand off because no one within the home would respond. Eventually, a front end
loader was utilized to tear down a wall of the home and police observed a man inside
with a fatal gunshot wound to his head. A subsequent autopsy concluded that the
cause of his death was a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.
A search warrant was later executed on the home where 122
improvised explosive devices, stores of precursor chemicals for making
explosives, a guide book on explosives assembly, a machine gun, an illegal
short barrel rifle and three illegal silencers, along with assorted other
weapons were discovered. Records revealed Leggett was the person responsible
for ordering many of the precursor chemicals used to assemble the destructive
devices. She also admitted to labeling many of the storage containers that held
those precursor chemicals. One of Leggett's fingerprints was also discovered on
the underside of tape that was affixed to one of the destructive devices during
its assembly. Law enforcement was also able to trace the paperwork for initial
purchase of the short barrel firearm and for the weapon that was later
converted to be a machine gun. In each case, Leggett was the purchaser.
During an interview with law enforcement, Leggett admitted
she knew of the machine gun and was willing to accept responsibility for being
in possession of the weapon.
Leggett will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S.
Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
This investigation leading to the federal charges was
conducted by the Texas Rangers, FBI, ATF, the Chambers County Sheriff‘s Office,
the Baytown Police Department, the Bay Area Regional Bomb Squad, the Texas
Department of Public Safety, the Houston Police Department, Metro Police
Department Bomb Squad and the Pasadena Police Department. Assistant U.S.
Attorney John D. Jocher is prosecuting the case.