A Bethesda, Md., teenager suspected of plotting to make homemade bombs entered a plea in federal court in Greenbelt, Md., Wednesday. Collin McKenzie-Gude, 19, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a destructive device.
When police searched McKenzie-Gude’s home in July 2008, they allegedly found a cache of weapons, chemicals and electrical timing devices. Prosecutors believe the teenager intended to use those ingredients to make bombs.
They said they also found McKenzie-Gude’s fake C.I.A. identification card, a map of Camp David and a hit list containing the names of teachers at his former school, St. John's College High School in the District.
His lawyer said McKenzie-Gude never intended to kill anyone. The teen entered the guilty plea even though his lawyer claimed the bomb-making chemicals found in his bedroom did not belong to McKenzie-Gude, but rather to the father of a former classmate.
“When you are in possession of something, you are in possession of something,” said Steven Kupferberg, the attorney for Collin McKenzie-Gude. “It's not a matter of who they belong to or who purchased them. This was an event that he participated in by the mere fact that he possessed them. They were in his house."
Kupferberg said McKenzie-Gude and former classmate Patrick Yevsukov exploded five pipe bombs in a wooded area in Gaithersburg, Md., in 2007 and 2008. The lawyer said Yevsukov’s father, a Russian émigré who fought in Chechnya, taught his son how to use explosives.
Patrick Yevsukov attends college while awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to possessing destructive devices.
Colin McKenzie-Gude has been held in custody for the past 15 months. The teenager will be sentenced on January 7. He faces up to 10 years in jail.