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Former Contract Air Traffic Controller Ordered to Serve 10 Years in Prison in Colorado Firebomb Case

On February 2, former contract air traffic controller Robert L. Burke of Grand Junction, Colorado, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Denver, Colorado, to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $11,865 in restitution for placing improvised explosive/incendiary devices at the homes of five former colleagues who worked with him at the air traffic control tower at Walker Field, an airport in Grand Junction, Colorado. Burke pleaded guilty in October 2006 to placing explosive devises at the residences of his former colleagues, one of whom is employed by FAA. The remainder were former employees of Serco Management Services, an FAA contractor that operates the Walker Field tower. Three of the devices detonated and 2 were disarmed. No injuries resulted and fire damage was minor. Burke worked for Serco for 10 years before being dismissed in 2004. OIG investigated this case with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the FBI, FAA, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Marshals Service.