Grovetown man charged with possessing illegal weapons and pipe bomb


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A Grovetown man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for possession of a pipe bomb and other illegal weapons.

36-year-old James Richard Grates II is charged with possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Grates faces a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison and supervised release.

Columbia County deputies and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were called to his mobile home in April 2019.

Investigators searched the home after being alerted about possible unsafe conditions in Grates home. They seized a pipe bomb and a 12-gauge shotgun.

MORE: Digging deeper into Grovetown pipe bomb investigation

According to Assistant Special Agent Beau Koldoka with the Atlanta Field Division of the ATF, “This cases involves illegally possessed firearms and explosives in the hands of convicted felon. It demonstrates the cooperation that exists between ATF, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and Richmond County Sheriff’s Office to keep the residents of these counties safe.”

This is an ongoing investigation with the ATF, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. The case is prosecuted for the United Stated by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alejandro V. Pascual IV.

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