TACOMA, Wash. – A Washington state man who said he wanted “carnage” plotted to blow up a Wal-Mart and two gas stations to divert police while he engaged in a bank-robbery spree, authorities said Tuesday.
Larry Gillette, 53, of Shelton, was arrested Monday as he tried to ignite what he thought was a car bomb, said the U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle. In reality, it was a dud provided by investigators.
Gillette was due to appear in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on Tuesday afternoon on charges of soliciting a crime of violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
According to a federal complaint unsealed Tuesday, Gillette began plotting the spree while serving time for identity theft at the Washington state prison in Shelton, west of Tacoma on the Olympic Peninsula. He told others at the prison, one of whom offered to put Gillette in touch with his “cousin” — really an undercover officer, the complaint said.
In meetings after he was released on April 14, Gillette told the undercover agent that he was serious about the plan, the complaint said, and he showed the agent where he wanted explosives planted and the three banks he wanted to rob.
“Gillette believed that the chaos caused by the explosions would allow Gillette to commit a series of bank robberies in the old town area of Shelton,” FBI special agent Dean W. Giboney wrote in the complaint. “In addition, aside from wanting the explosions to create a diversion, Gillette expressed that he wanted to kill as many individuals as possible with these devices. Gillette stated he wanted the targeted Walmart levelled, and intentionally wanted the explosives placed in areas which would prompt secondary explosions causing more damage.”
He also said he wanted “carnage,” Giboney wrote.
Gillette asked the undercover agent to provide the explosives, including two that would be hidden in vans, as well as handguns to use during the robberies, the complaint said, with the agent being reimbursed from proceeds of the robberies. The agent was to do all the talking during the robberies, while Gillette would serve as the trigger man, shooting several victims before any demands were even made, it said.
The agent provided four inoperable 9 mm handguns, which Gillette inspected and accepted, Giboney wrote.