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Man who built working cannon sentenced to 2 years prison

July 7, 2021 GMT

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A 63-year-old Eastern Washington man will spend two years in federal prison for building a working red, white and blue cannon in his garage.

Kent Kimberling of Garfield has been in custody of the Spokane County Jail since January 2020, The Spokesman Review reported. In August 2019, investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms discovered the unregistered destructive device in the home he shares with his mother.

Kimberling pleaded guilty in March to possession of an unregistered destructive device and was sentenced Tuesday before U.S. District Court Judge William Fremming Nielsen in a closed courtroom Tuesday at the request of his attorney.

Investigators went to Kimberling’s home to conduct a welfare check and found the cannon, which was later tested by federal agents and found to be operational. It fired a soda can, “leaving a large hole in the center of (a) target,” according to court records.

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The bore of the cannon was measured to be 1 ¼ inches, greater than the ½ inch bore permissible under federal law.

Kimberling told federal agents he believed construction of the device was legal, documents said. Investigators also said Kimberling told them “numerous times that he believed the police and police chief were out to get him and that the Town of Garfield is corrupt.”

Kimberling’s defense argued that he’s in poor health and is the sole caretaker for his mother. Kimberling also disputed that there was any threat made to public officials.