The owner of a Milford chemical company on Monday was sentenced to up to two years in jail in a plea deal in which he admitted setting off several explosive devices in Upper Bucks County during May and June of 2018.
David W. Surman, Jr., 32, of Quakertown, admitted to a count of weapons of mass destruction and a count of conspiracy for the bombs. Included in the plea deal was his admission to criminal use of a communications facility and computer for child pornography in a separate case.
His girlfriend, Tina M. Smith, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing or transporting an explosive device for her role as the driver of the vehicle from which Surman tossed the explosives prior to detonation.
Surman was arrested in June 2018 as authorities investigated 30 explosions that had been reported within a five-mile radius of Upper Bucks County, with seven detonation sites in close proximity to Surman’s home and business. A search of both locations turned up four explosive devices, chemicals used in the creation of explosives, and pornographic photos and videos of children, along with depictions of a swastika, burning cross, obscenities directed at federal agencies, and homophobic content.
Both defendants apologized in court for the alarm their actions caused.
“I would never hurt another living thing,” Surman said. “I didn’t even mean to scare people.”
Judge Raymond F. McHugh accepted the guilty pleas and ordered Surman to serve one to two years at the Bucks County Correctional Facility, followed by 10 years of probation. Smith was sentenced to four and a half years of probation.
“Despite the actions of these defendants, no one was harmed by the explosions they caused, and for that we could not be more grateful,” said Deputy District Attorney Antonetta Stancu. “Now with both defendants subject to lengthy terms of supervision and barred from purchasing firearms, we are confident this outcome ensures the continued safety of our communities.”
Pennsylvania State Police led the investigation in this case, assisted by Bucks County Detectives, the FBI and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney and Chief of Major Crimes Antonetta Stancu with Assistant District Attorney Sarah Heimbach.
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