NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - Authorities on Wednesday charged a Brooklyn man in connection with a deadly package explosion that was meant for a cop but instead killed a landlord in Queens in 2017.
A joint FBI, ATF, and NYPD investigation has been underway since the summer 2017 explosion outside of a rental house in Springfield Gardens.
In the course of the probe, agents and officers searched a home in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn. They found explosive materials and bomb-making paraphernalia, authorities said.
Federal prosecutors charged Victor Kingsley, 37, with using a weapon of mass destruction as part of a plot to get revenge against cops that arrested him in January 2014, according to the United States Attorney's Office. But no officers lived at the home.
"Kingsley's cowardly act was meant to target a New York City police officer for doing his job and resulted in the tragic death of an unintended victim," Police Commissioner James O'Neill said in a statement. "This was a case where the NYPD Detective Bureau, Intelligence Bureau, and FBI/NYPD Joint Terrorist Task Force combined their expertise and unique talents to find a needle in a haystack—the clues that would lead to the identification of a bomber who went to great lengths to remain hidden."
Queens resident George Wray was renting the Springfield Gardens house to two families. On July 28, 2017, he picked up a package that had been sitting on the porch for about a week, police said. The package exploded, burning Wray's head, legs, and torso, police said. He died a few days later, the NYPD said.
The NYPD described the package containing the explosive as a cylinder about the size of an oatmeal container. The explosive was rigged to detonate when the package was opened.
Investigators mined data to track down Kingsley, police said. He ordered materials to make explosives as recently as early February, police said.