Crime

Madison man who stockpiled dangerous chemicals, built explosives sentenced 2 years prison

Madison man who stockpiled dangerous chemicals, built explosives sentenced 2 years prison

MADISON, Wis. - A man who was convicted of stockpiling dangerous chemicals and building explosives inside his westside Madison apartment was sentenced to two years in prison Monday. 

Brian Campbell, 31, pleaded guilty to second-degree recklessly endangering safety and possession of improvised explosives. He will spend two years in prison and three years under extended supervision for the charges. 

Campbell gave a statement in court Monday saying that it's hard to recognize the man he was when he was conducting the numerous chemical experiments inside his Timber Lake Trail apartment. 

"I have a hard time understanding sometimes, the person who allowed his living space to get that terrible," Campbell said. "I remain deeply ashamed of the actions I took." 

Judge Susan M. Crawford said that while it is clear Campbell was stockpiling chemicals and building explosive devices, she felt the prosecution's argument that he was planning a UW-Madison campus attack was too speculative. 

"I don't believe that Mr. Campbell is just a hobbyist," Crawford said. "There could have been devastating consequences," she added.

She also said his explanation of "forgetting about safety" to an investigator was "unsatisfactory." 

As part of the sentence, Crawford ordered that Campbell is not to be in possession of substances on the Environmental Protection Agency list or of chemistry laboratory equipment without approval from his supervisor. He was banned from the Timber Lake Trail apartment complex and from talking to residents or staff. He is not allowed to possess a dangerous weapon. 

The prosecutors had asked for Campbell to be restricted from returning to the UW-Madison campus and its underground tunnels. Crawford said that because the plans of an attack on campus are speculative, she would not ban him from campus. She did, however, ban him from going into the underground tunnels as he has "no reason to be there." 

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