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School security officer made, sold explosives with teenage student

With help from a teenage boy, a California high school security officer made explosive devices and sold them through an Instagram account.
Arvin High School is shown.
Posted at 6:29 PM, Dec 13, 2023

A California school security officer has admitted to making explosive devices with a student and selling them on social media, according to federal prosecutors.

On Monday, Angelo Jackson Mendiver pleaded guilty to conspiring to engage in manufacturing and dealing in explosive materials and mailing explosive devices, as well as to making false statements to FBI agents, U.S. attorney Phillip A. Talbert said.

The 27-year-old was a campus security supervisor at Arvin High School, located near his town of Bakersfield, when he started the side business.

Court documents allege Mendiver used an Instagram account to sell explosives and related materials while working closely with an underage male high school student to fulfill the orders, often mailing the products to buyers in other states.

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One Instagram message Mendiver sent to the teenager featured a photo of an explosive device called a titanium salute as well as two videos of his homemade explosive devices with the message "homemade kills all consumer," the attorney's office said.

Mendiver was arrested after federal investigators executed a search warrant at his home on June 1. 

During the search warrant, investigators found he possessed 500 pounds of explosives and explosive materials. They later found an additional 500 pounds of explosives and explosive materials upon searching the teen's home. Other items used to make explosives were found at both residences.

Mendiver now faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count. He's scheduled to be sentenced on April 1, 2024.