CLEVELAND — A U.S. District Judge sentenced Andrew F. Dodson to more than 55 months in prison on Monday.
Dodson was convicted by a federal jury on July 27, 2022, of obstructing justice by retaliating against a witness.
“Threatening a witness is a serious offense and, as evident by this sentence, it is a crime that can lead to significant time in a federal prison,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michell M. Baeppler. “Ensuring the safety of federal witnesses is a critical part of the mission of the Justice Department.”
According to court records and evidence presented at Dodson's trial, an investigation into Dodson was launched after he was arrested for OVI and possession of chemicals that could be used to make explosives.
Through the investigation, it was revealed that Dodson had purchased approximately 50 pounds of explosive materials which Dodson claimed were used to make smoke bombs.
As the investigation continued, authorites found that Dodson had engaged in conversations with others online in which he sent another person a picture of 157 improvised explosive devices, screenshots of a remote detonator and 12 radio antenna devices and other explosive materials. He had also said at one point in a conversation "people call me the unabomber".
A search warrant was executed on Dodson's Magadore residence in which authorities seized various items including a tactical vest, a firearm, ammunition and a flame thrower.
A storage unit belonging to Dodson was also searched in which authorities seized gas masks, a shirt with a swastika, a remote detonator, a box of pyrotechnic signal shells, fusing with safety igniters and a bag of pyrotechnic fuses.
Dodson was arrested after these findings.
According to court records, Dodson was released on bond after his arrest. During his time out on bond, he came into possession of a witness statement given to federal authorities that led to the initial investigation.
Dodson contacted the witness and threatened them with "intent to retaliate".
Dodson's 55 month sentence will be served consecutive to a previous conviction of eight months for making false statements to federal authorities.