A Burleson man who allegedly idolized the Columbine High School shooters has been charged with possessing a homemade bomb, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.
Noah Robert Calderon, 22, was charged via criminal complaint on April 18 and indicted on May 10 on one count of possession of a destructive device. He made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton on May 15, 2023.
“This defendant exhibited several indicators of potential violence: a fascination with mass shooters, an obsession with weapons, and hatred towards a protected class. What’s worse, he had allegedly progressed from ideation to planning and preparation,” said U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton. “In apprehending Mr. Calderon, we may have averted mass tragedy. We are especially grateful to the tipster who alerted law enforcement to Mr. Calderon’s concerning social media posts. We encourage anyone who witnesses worrisome behavior to report it to law enforcement. Texas iWatch is anonymous and available 24/7.”
“The FBI’s top priority is to protect the communities we serve from acts of violence. Mr. Calderon’s actions presented a potential threat to the public’s safety, and the FBI moved quickly to ensure no one was harmed, “ said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Chad Yarbrough. “We encourage the public to remain vigilant and contact law enforcement if they see anything suspicious. Awareness allows us to take actions such as we did in this investigation to protect the American public.”
According to court documents, the FBI was alerted to SnapChat images allegedly posted by Mr. Calderon in October 2022. In the posts, Mr. Calderon allegedly shared images of homemade explosives, including one marked “SS” – an apparent reference to the infamous Nazi paramilitary organization.
On his social media accounts, Mr. Calderon allegedly embraced white supremacist ideology and professed a fascination with high-profile mass shootings, particularly the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School. He posted numerous images of himself in tactical-style vests posing with AR-15-style rifles and handguns and shared Columbine-themed memes.
In March 2023, FBI received a tip that Calderon had detonated a homemade bomb in a residential neighborhood. (911 calls about a loud concussive sound and smoke corroborated the account.)
Shortly thereafter, agents reviewed Mr. Calderon’s Google account and found searches for the Columbine killers, the Charleston church shooter, “pipe bomb how to make,” “how to make propane bombs,” and “wear [sic] were the propane bombs in Columbine,” as well as searches of the names of several local public schools. They also searched e-commerce activity, which showed that Mr. Calderon allegedly bought two pounds of potassium percholorate, one pound of aluminum powder, and a striped fuse online.
On April 17, 2023, agents executed a federal search warrant at Mr. Calderon’s home in Burleson, Texas. In the garage, they located a brown shoe box that contained items that could be used to make and detonate a bomb, including a glass jar marked “frag,” which contained metal bb’s and lead. Near the carboard box was a white plastic container with 659.2 grams of explosive powder. In Mr. Calderon’s room, they recovered a handwritten document labeled “Manifesto” that glorified the Columbine shooters and espoused white supremacy.
Indictments and criminal complaints are merely allegations of criminal conduct, not evidence. Mr. Calderone is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office, the Burleson Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Weimer is prosecuting the case.