Couple Pleads Guilty in Upper Bucks Bombs Case
Bucks County District Attorneys office Press Release
A Milford Township couple has pleaded guilty to felony charges related to a string of late-night explosions that gripped Upper Bucks County in the spring of 2018.
David W. Surman, Jr., 32, admitted Monday to a count of weapons of mass destruction and a count of conspiracy to the same stemming from the manufacture and detonation of several explosive devices in May and June of 2018.
On a separate case also handled Monday involving the discovery of child pornography on an electronic storage device in his home, he admitted to counts of criminal use of a communications facility and unlawful use of a computer.
Tina M. Smith, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing or transporting an explosive or incendiary device for her role as the driver
of the vehicle from which Surman tossed the explosives prior to detonation.
Surman was arrested in June of 2018 during a search of his home after police investigating dozens of reported explosions narrowed their focus on the then-chemical company proprietor. The search of his home and business turned up four explosive devices as well as chemicals used in the creation of explosives. Forensic testing later linked Surman to many of the blast sites. Pennsylvania State Police charged Smith later that year. Both defendants apologized in court for the alarm their actions caused.
“I would never hurt another living thing,” Surman said. “I didn’t even mean to scare people.”
Judge Raymond F. McHugh accepted the guilty pleas and imposed sentences agreed upon in plea negotiations. The judge ordered Surman to serve one day less than one year to one day less than two years at the Bucks County Correctional Facility followed by 10 years of probation.
Surman, who has been jailed since May following bail violations, is to be presumptively paroled upon serving his minimum sentence provided he continues to serve his prison term with good conduct.
For her part, Smith was sentenced to four and a half years of probation. “Despite the actions of these defendants, no one was harmed by the explosions they caused, and for that we could not be more grateful,” said Deputy District Attorney Antonetta Stancu. “Now with both defendants subject to lengthy terms of supervision and barred from purchasing firearms, we are confident this outcome ensures the continued safety of our communities.”
Pennsylvania State Police led the investigation in this case, assisted by Bucks County Detectives, the FBI and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as well as other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney and Chief of Major Crimes Antonetta Stancu with Assistant District Attorney Sarah Heimbach.
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