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Peter Karasev, a 36-year-old Engineer was Indicted for Bombing Energy Facilities in California

Updated: Nov 24, 2023


The indictment alleges that Karasev committed a felony by using fire and an explosive to destroy an energy facility on January 5, 2023. “These charges make clear that those who attack our country’s critical infrastructure will be met with the full force of the Justice Department,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.




Peter Karasev, a 36-year-old U.S. citizen residing in San Jose, has been arraigned in the Northern District of California today. He is facing charges outlined in an indictment for destroying energy facilities and utilizing fire or explosives to commit a federal crime.


As per court documents, Karasev was indicted on October 19. The indictment states that he knowingly and willfully caused damage to two energy facilities, specifically two PG&E transformers located in San Jose, California. These incidents occurred on December 8, 2022, and January 5, 2023, respectively. Karasev's actions resulted in significant interruption and impairment of the aforementioned energy facilities.


Additionally, the indictment alleges that Karasev committed a felony by using fire and an explosive to destroy an energy facility on January 5, 2023. “These charges make clear that those who attack our country’s critical infrastructure will be met with the full force of the Justice Department,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “We have charged Peter Karasev with bombing two energy transformers in Northern California, leaving more than 1,500 households and businesses in the San Jose community without power. I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Northern District of California and the FBI for their work to bring the defendant to justice and prevent further harm to the San Jose community.”



"The indictment alleges that Karasev built explosive devices and used them to damage energy facilities, knocking out power to over 1,500 homes and businesses in the San Jose area,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “The FBI is laser focused on protecting the essential infrastructure that Americans rely on every day, and we and our partners like the San Jose Police Department will use every lawful means to hold anyone who targets that infrastructure accountable.”


“The defendant in this case allegedly used explosives to try to cut off electricity to more than 1,500 San Jose businesses and residences,” said U.S. Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey for the Northern District of California. “Damaging our region’s critical infrastructure endangers innocent victims – including our most vulnerable citizens such as the elderly and the sick – and we will not tolerate it. We will vigorously prosecute any malicious attempts to disrupt the power grid.”


According to a government memorandum requesting Karasev's pretrial detention, Karasev was responsible for constructing, planting, and igniting explosive devices that caused multiple transformer explosions. These attacks took place in the early morning hours in commercial areas occupied by stores and businesses, resulting in a power outage for over 1,500 households and businesses in the San Jose community.


The memorandum also revealed that in the months leading up to the attacks, Karasev had been building and experimenting with homemade explosives and manufacturing methamphetamine in his own residence. Upon his arrest, Karasev was found to be in possession of various improvised explosive devices at different stages of completion, along with multiple firearms, additional weapons, over 300 pounds of explosive precursor materials, and other hazardous substances.


Karasev was apprehended by local authorities in March 2023 and remained in custody on state charges until being transferred to federal custody for this particular case. He is now facing two counts of destruction of an energy facility and one count of using fire or an explosive to commit a federal felony. If convicted, Karasev could be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison for count three, which would be served consecutively to any other imprisonment imposed for the other counts. The maximum penalty for each count includes up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. The final sentence will be determined by a federal district court judge, who will consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other relevant statutory factors.


The case is currently under investigation by the FBI and the San Jose Police Department.


Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne C. Hsieh from the Northern District of California and Trial Attorney Jacob Warren from the National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section are handling the prosecution.


It is important to note that an indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.



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