Lionel Gillette


A St. Clair man is scheduled to be sentenced in October after he pleaded guilty earlier this week to federal methamphetamine charges.

Lionel Gillette, 45, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to the attempted manufacturing of meth and possession of an explosive device on different dates in 2011. He made his plea before U.S. District Judge Henry Autrey.

Gillette specifically pleaded guilty to attempting to manufacture in excess of 50 grams of methamphetamine and possession of a pipe bomb. The charges carry penalties ranging from five to 40 years in prison and/or fines up to $5 million. Sentencing has been set for Oct. 15.

In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. sentencing guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

The case was investigated by the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Assistant U.S. Attorney James Delworth is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In March, drug task force officers arrested Gillette after a federal grand jury handed up a multi-count felony indictment against him. He was arrested after officers received information that he was staying at the St. Clair Motel off of Springfield Road, said Detective Cpl. Scott Briggs with the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit.

After he was booked, Gillette was turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service and held until a detention hearing was scheduled, Briggs said.

Gillette was charged in the federal indictment with three counts of manufacturing meth, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of distribution of meth to a person under the age of 21. Authorities said the charges stem from incidents that occurred in Franklin County between 2009 and 2012, Briggs said.

Some of the incidents were investigated by Sullivan police and others by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

Gillette was charged last fall in Franklin County with possession of a firearm by a felon after he was arrested on Oct. 26 in a traffic stop on Springfield Road west of St. Clair.

A deputy had been patrolling the area of the Anaconda Cemetery in response to reports of vandalism and complaints that individuals were manufacturing methamphetamine in that area.

Gillette allegedly refused to allow the deputy to search his vehicle and the Washington police K-9 unit was called to the scene. The dog alerted on the vehicle, indicating that narcotics were present, according to a sheriff’s office report.

The deputy reported seizing suspected meth and some pills. Gillette also had a handgun in a coat pocket and was in possession of a taser gun.

The deputy also seized a large amount of cash and materials commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, according to the report.

Gillette also was charged in a separate felony count with possession of precursor drugs with intent to manufacture meth, according to court records.

According to court documents, the pipe bomb incident occurred on Aug. 26, 2011, when deputies and St. Clair Fire Protection District personnel responded to a report of smoke coming from the rear of a mobile home at 1060 Highway WW just outside of St. Clair.

The responders noticed damage to the rear of an unsecured mobile home and detected a strong odor of burnt sulfur in and around the trailer.

A deputy observed what he believed to be a second unexploded explosive device in the front of the trailer on the floor. Closer inspection revealed it was a pipe bomb. An investigation revealed that an explosive device had been detonated inside.

Further investigation revealed that three subjects, including Gillette, were involved in the incident.

On Aug. 31, 2011, court records show that Gillette, through his plea, acknowledged and admitted that he had joint possession of the pipe bomb.