Viral PA Man Sentenced for Taking Pipe Bombs to Go Ice Fishing
A man was sentenced to prison this week after he was charged with attempting to use homemade explosive devices to go ice fishing on a frozen river in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley.
Donald Frey, 32, was never able to use the bombs because he fell through the ice up to his waist after getting too close to a small waterfall, the Allentown Morning Call reported.
Federal Judge Edward Smith sentenced Frey, of Easton, to 45 days in prison, after police found the bombs in his car when he lost control and crashed on an icy road near Hellertown, Pa. in January 2014.
Frey was charged earlier this year with possession of unregistered destructive devices.
He said he bought them for $5 each from a man known only as "Mike" he met while fishing in the Lehigh River, about 100 miles west of New York City.
Smith could have sentenced Frey to a much longer term under federal guidelines similar to those instituted against the Boston Marathon bombers for possession of similar devices, the Morning Call reported.
However, because of the lack of destructive malice and the fact Frey's devices were very small--about three inches long-- Smith said Frey deserved minimal jail time, originally considering probation for him.
"I do believe the message has to be sent that pipe bombs in our community are simply unacceptable," Smith said, according to the Easton Express-Times.
Frey called the ordeal a "wake-up call", and said he remains employed as a landscaper, is drug-free and continues to care for his girlfriend and three children.
He reports to prison in December.