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Man Sentenced to 20 Years in IRS Bombing, Attempted Bombings

January 31, 1992 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ An aerospace engineer who pleaded guilty to launching 13 bombs at one Internal Revenue Service office and trying to blow up three others was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison.

Dean Harvey Hicks of Costa Mesa also was ordered to pay a $45,000 fine and restitution of more than $335,000 to the IRS. The FBI has said Hicks was angry because the IRS wouldn’t allow him to deduct an $8,000 donation he made to a mail-order church.

″While he has a right of protest guaranteed under the Constitution ... he does not have the right to conduct a reign of terror,″ said U.S. District Judge Laughlin Waters.


Hicks pleaded guilty in August to a pipe bomb attack on a regional tax processing center in Fresno, three bombing attempts in Southern California and to sending a threatening letter after the Fresno bombing.

In the Fresno attack on April Fool’s Day last year, 13 bombs were fired from a launcher in a field. Damage was minor and nobody was injured.

Hicks insisted he never intended to hurt anybody.

″The way I set the timing was intended to cause the greatest amount of display with minimal injury to anyone around it,″ Hicks said in August.

However, Assistant U.S. Attorney George Newhouse said a bomb Hicks planted in a truck at a Los Angeles IRS office in 1990 could have leveled two city blocks if it had exploded.

The FBI says four heat-dispersing devices called heat sinks found at the Fresno site were traced to the Ford Aerospace plant in Newport Beach where Hicks worked.