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St. Petersburg Veteran Facing Felony Charges For Placing IED at Bay Pines VA

Mark Edward Allen
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A 60-year-old U.S. Army veteran from St. Petersburg is facing up to 10 years in prison for placing an improvised explosive device at the Bay Pines VA in Pinellas County.

A federal criminal complaint said Mark Edward Allen made his first court appearance on June 4 and he's currently being detained.

U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez of the Department of Justice said Allen placed the device near the Bay PinesVeterans Affairs Hospital on May 29. 

The FBI, Tampa Police and other law enforcement agencies responded. The regional bomb squad, which is part of the Tampa Police ultimately rendered the device safe.

About two days later, someone called police to report Allen had been making explosive devices in his home.

The FBI determined Allen was responsible for both devices.

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Susan Giles Wantuck is our midday news host, and a producer and reporter for WUSF Public Media who focuses her storytelling on arts, culture and history.