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Daviess man is indicted on pipe-bomb charges

A Daviess County man was indicted Wednesday on charges of illegally possessing pipe bomb components and chemicals that he told officials would protect his family in the year 2012, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Western District of Kentucky.

On March 26, police and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive agents responded to a complaint that James Byron Birkhead, 50, of Owensboro, was making bombs at his home, the release said; when agents interviewed Birkhead, he said that he had watched the movie 2012 and was preparing to protect his family because the Mayan calendar predicts that the world will end in 2012.

Birkhead showed police black powder and other explosive chemicals; pieces of PVC piping, including end caps; and a military manual on improvised explosives and detonators, the release said. Policed seized the items that could be assembled to make a pipe bomb and arrested Birkhead for possessing a firearm or destructive device.

If convicted, Birkhead could face up to 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine and supervised release for up to three years. Birkhead is scheduled to appear for arraignment on May 27.