Detonators seized from Jeffrey Carlton's vehicle in Everett in May. (U.S. Attorney's Office)

Man caught with illegal explosives in Everett sentenced to time served

Jeffrey Carlton has had a lifelong interest in explosives. He pleaded guilty to unlawfully owning them.

EVERETT — A man who injured his own hand with illegal explosives in Everett has been sentenced to time served.

In September, Jeffrey Carlton, 40, pleaded guilty to unlawful and unlicensed receipt of explosives in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

Carlton’s defense attorney requested time served, noting the defendant had been in jail since his May arrest in Everett. He had no prior criminal history. Court records list addresses for Carlton in Snohomish, Marysville and Stanwood.

In court filings, Carlton’s attorney, Gilbert Levy, noted his client and wife have lost their housing due to the conviction. Levy also noted Carlton has had a lifelong interest in guns and explosives. Enlisting after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he served in an explosives disposal unit in the army. After that, he worked on armor for a defense contractor.

“I would make armor, and then make projectiles to defeat my armor,” Carlton wrote to the judge before his sentencing.

The conviction takes away Carlton’s right to possess firearms. A few weeks after his arrest, a Snohomish County Superior Court judge approved a one-year extreme risk protection order against Carlton, barring him from buying a gun or getting a pistol license.

Federal prosecutors pushed for six months in custody.

“The defendant’s hobbiest interests and intellectual property curiosities cannot trump the procedures and regulations designed to protect the community from inherently harmful firearms and explosives,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Cecelia Gregson wrote in court papers.

At sentencing this month in federal court, Judge Tana Lin heeded the defense’s request, sentencing Carlton to time served. He will be on supervised release for three years.

On the morning of May 13, Carlton called 911. A blasting cap had exploded in his hand in a parking lot in the 8700 block of Airport Road, according to police. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Carlton reportedly told detectives he used to detonate explosives in Gold Bar as a hobby. A judge approved a search warrant for his car. Investigators found rifles and suspected improvised explosives. Deemed unsafe to transport, one device was detonated on scene.

Carlton was not licensed to possess explosives, police learned.

In his letter to the judge, the defendant wrote the case was “completely the result of my own negligence and failure to do the required licensing.”

“In conclusion, I simply ask for an opportunity to have my life back,” Carlton wrote, “nothing can ever repair the permanent damage of my fingertips getting blown off.”

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439;; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

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