A former Harlem schoolteacher and his twin brother pled guilty on Monday to federal conspiracy and bomb-making charges, admitting that they had stockpiled explosive material in their Bronx apartment.
The former teacher, Christian Toro, 28, paid students approximately $50 per hour to dismantle fireworks to extract explosive powders, and then place the explosive powder in containers for storage, according to statements.
(Learn More. Brothers Christian and Tyler Toro, 28, were arrested by FBI on Thursday for attempting to manufacture explosives. They are accused of paying students to help them. Courtesy of the Daily Mail News and YouTube. Posted on Feb 16, 2018.)
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, made the announcement stating, “As admitted in court today, Christian Toro and Tyler Toro sought to build a destructive device that could have caused great damage.”
“Christian Toro used a minor student to assist him in this endeavor.”
“Thanks to the excellent work of the FBI and the NYPD, no one was injured as a result of this grave conduct, and the defendants now await sentencing for their crimes.”
According to the allegations in the complaint, indictment, and statements made during court proceedings, Christian and Tyler Toro conspired to build and possess a destructive device at their apartment in the Bronx, New York between October 2017 and February 2018.
Christian Toro also possessed a copy of a book that provided instructions for, among other things, manufacturing explosive devices on his school laptop.
On February 15, 2018, law enforcement agents searched the Residence pursuant to a judicially authorized search warrant, and in a bedroom shared by the brothers, law enforcement agents recovered numerous components for use in building a destructive device and other dangerous substances, which included:
- A glass jar containing low explosive powder
- A strip of magnesium metal
- Approximately twenty pounds of iron oxide
- Approximately five pounds of aluminum powder
- A mixture of iron oxide and aluminum powder, the key ingredients for thermite
- Approximately five pounds of potassium nitrate
- A cardboard box containing firecrackers; and
- Metal spheres, which can be used as fragmentation for a bomb
Law enforcement agents found a diary with handwritten diary entries which stated, among other things, “WE ARE TWIN TOROS STRIKE US NOW, WE WILL RETURN WITH NANO THERMITE.”
And “I AM HERE 100%, LIVING, BUYING WEAPONS. WHATEVER WE NEED.”
Additionally, agents recovered a page inside a notebook labeled “Operation Flash,” with a ledger appearing to delineate the hours worked and payment owed to one of the School’s students.
(Learn More. A former high school teacher and his brother were accused on Thursday of stockpiling explosive materials in their Bronx apartment and paying students to dismantle fireworks for gunpowder to make bombs. Courtesy of AP and YouTube. Posted on Feb 20, 2018.)
The Christian and Tyler Toro, 28, pled guilty to the following charges:
- One count of conspiracy to manufacture and unlawfully possess a destructive device, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison
- One count of unlawfully manufacturing a destructive device, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and
- One count of unlawfully possessing a destructive device, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison