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Phoenix man gets 15 years in federal prison for radiological theft

(Getty Images Photo/Sean Gallup)

PHOENIX — A Phoenix man has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Prosecutors said 27-year-old Jared Trent Atkins stole three devices containing the radiological material Iridium-192 from his workplace in April 2019 and also stole tools to open the devices and expose the material.

He also stabbed a gas station clerk in Phoenix before stealing the devices.

Prosecutors said Atkins texted his co-workers, telling them he had the dangerous devices and warned them to stay home until the devices were found.

He was caught on surveillance footage near Scottsdale Fashion Square. He told FBI agents he had considered making a “last stand” at the mall.

Instead, Atkins drove to Mount Ord in the Payson area and called his family to say goodbye. He planned to open one of the devices and kill himself.

But he closed the device, drove back to Phoenix and barricaded himself at home.

After a two-hour standoff, Atkins surrendered. Authorities recovered all three devices from his vehicle, including the stolen radiological material.

Atkins also pleaded guilty to state charges of aggravated assault and arson and was sentenced to 3½ years in prison.

His federal prison term will run consecutive to his state sentence.

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