Former Air Traffic Controller Pleads Guilty to Explosives Violation in Colorado
On October 13, Robert L. Burke pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Denver, CO, to a felony charge of malicious damage to a building by means of fire/explosive. Burke was indicted and arrested earlier this year in connection with the placement of improvised explosive/incendiary devices at the residences of one FAA employee and four former SERCO Management Services co-workers. SERCO is an FAA contractor that operates the air traffic control tower in Grand Junction, CO. Three of the devices detonated and two were disarmed (including the one placed outside the home of a FAA employee). The explosion caused no injuries and fire damage was minor.
As part of his plea, other charges related to Burke's possession of destructive devices were dismissed. Burke worked for SERCO for 10 years before being terminated in 2004. Sentencing is scheduled for February 2, 2007. Our investigation was worked jointly with ATF, FAA, ICE, TSA, The Grand Junction Police Department, and Bureau of Land Management.