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Bradenton man charged with murder-for-hire bomb plot

TAMPA — A Bradenton man faces federal charges after trying to commit a murder-for-hire in Tampa by blowing up a car using a homemade bomb in exchange for $8,000, according to federal arrest reports.

FBI agents and local law enforcement from the Tampa FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested John Nicholas Coors, 20, of 702 51st St. E., after an undercover agent witnessed him build a bomb in a Tampa hotel, plant it in a car, and press a button he thought would detonate it.

But the bomb never went off because Coors had been supplied with inactive explosives by the undercover officer during an investigation that dates back to March 2009, according to the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s reports.

An investigation, dubbed “Operation Rocky Bullet,” began into Coors after he had discussed making bombs with an acquaintance, and Coors’ father told authorities his son was trained in “special forces” type military tactics, considered himself a mercenary, and was proficient in building explosive devices.

The witness reported Coors to authorities after he claimed to have made pipe bombs in the past, was in possession of chemicals that could be used to make explosives, and had bomb making books, including the “Anarchist Cookbook.”

During the investigation, the witness began working as a confidential informant and introduced Coors to an undercover agent who said he could supply Coors with explosives, according to reports.

Coors and the undercover agent then hatched plans to kill someone the agent said he did not like by blowing up a vehicle. Coors and the undercover agent discussed building the bomb, and how to plant the device in a vehicle to carry out the killing. Coors then agreed to build and detonate the bomb for $8,000, according to the FBI.

In a Tampa hotel Friday, Coors built a bomb triggering device himself, and used what he thought were active explosives provided by the undercover agent.

Coors and the agent then went to a car in downtown Tampa, where Coors broke into the vehicle and planted the bomb. When Coors got back the car, the agent said he pushed a button to detonate the bomb, but it did not go off.

Coors was then arrested without incident and taken to the Hillsborough County jail.