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Cornelia woman pleads guilty to firearms charges

Federal agents say they found explosives when they raided home last year

POSTED: July 23, 2013 11:26 p.m.
/Associated Press

Celia Savage, right, gets into a waiting car today as she leaves federal court in Gainesville after pleading guilty to two federal firearms charges.

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A North Georgia woman who was arrested last year after federal agents raided her home and found explosives has pleaded guilty to some of the charges against her.

Celia Savage, 24, of Cornelia, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to two federal firearms charges in Gainesville federal court.

Federal agents raided Savage’s home in May 2012. They said they found two pipe bombs and a number of guns, as well as illegal drug paraphernalia and suspected drugs.

It is required by federal law to register such explosives with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.
She was indicted on June 26, 2012, on one count of making two unregistered pipe bombs, one count of possessing two unregistered pipe bombs, and one count of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

In her interview with agents shortly after the raid, U.S. Assistant District Attorney William McKinnon said that Savage had admitted to making the pipe bombs and said it was a “hobby of hers” and that she liked to “blow stuff up.”

Judge Richard Story asked Savage if she disputed any of the government’s assertions proving the elements of the case, prompting Savage to say she “never intended to hurt anyone” and “had no malicious intent” in making
the bombs.

Her lawyer gave her a gentle squeeze, and told her to simply say, “I agree.”

In response, Story explained to Savage that sentencing will present the appropriate time to argue certain points in seeking a lower sentence.

“You will have your opportunity to explain yourself ... through the assistance of your counsel,” he said.

“This defendant said she made and detonated pipe bombs as a hobby,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates in a news release after the plea was accepted. “Making bombs out of heavy metal pipe, explosive powder, and fuses is a serious crime, not a hobby, that carries significant penalties.”

Each of the firearms counts carries a 10-year maximum sentence, with no mandatory minimum, a period of supervised release for three years, and a fine of up to $250,000.

The prosecution is advising a sentence to be served in federal prison between 46 and 57 months, McKinnon said, although the judge ultimately has discretion.

The date of Savage’s sentencing has not been set, although McKinnon said he anticipates the hearing “sometime this fall.”

Savage, who said in court she is being treated for attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder, insomnia and severe anxiety, has been out on bond for about a year.

Under the conditions of her release, she is required to live with her grandparents and is confined to their home except for work, medical treatment or court appearances.



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