A federal grand jury indicted two Fresno men Thursday suspected of setting off pipe bombs on cars and other property.
During a March 1 news conference announcing the arrests of Scott Eric Anderson, 43, and Paul New, 55, and three other suspects, Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama said they were investigating the explosions as possible hate crimes.
At that news conference, police displayed Nazi paraphernalia, weapons, and drugs seized during the arrests.
Anderson and New are specifically charged with conspiracy to destroy by means of an explosive device and malicious destruction by means of an explosive device, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced in a news release.
Anderson also is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He has a conviction for carrying a loaded concealed weapon.
The two suspects were arrested in late February and booked into Fresno County Jail. They remain there on no-bail holds.
The Pipe Bombings
According to court documents, between November 2022 and February 2023, Anderson and New set off a series of pipe bombs on unoccupied vehicles and property in Fresno.
The bombs damaged vehicles belonging to two auto-related businesses on Clinton Avenue, and on Feb. 19, 2023, a bomb heavily damaged a vehicle used by a home health care business on Fallbrook Avenue.
It is alleged that Anderson sometimes recorded his crimes by video.
The Fresno Police Department, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael G. Tierney is the prosecutor.
If convicted on the conspiracy charge, Anderson and New each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Anderson also faces 10 years on the firearm charge.