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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

N.Y. man pleads not guilty in bomb case

By Randall Beach
Register Staff
NEW HAVEN
— A man arrested in the parking lot of a preschool in Wallingford on charges of carrying unregistered explosive devices pleaded not guilty Tuesday in federal court.
Yung W. Tang, 38, a citizen of China who lives in Greenwood Lake, N.Y., was read his rights by U.S. Judge Joan Margolis and assigned a federal attorney.
Margolis told Tang he is charged with four counts of receipt and possession of an unregistered firearm — two improvised explosive devices and two silencers — and one count of transporting across state lines explosive materials without a license.
Tang was also told that, if convicted, he faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a $10,000 fine on each of the first four counts; and 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the transporting count.
Tang was arrested after a Wallingford police officer found him asleep in his van Jan. 29 at 2:22 a.m. in the parking lot of the Kinder Care Learning Center, just off Interstate 91. Tang told the officer he was driving from Boston to New York and had pulled off the highway to sleep.
Police learned his driver’s license was suspended, the marker plates belonged to another vehicle and he could not produce valid registration or insurance information, according to a statement by federal authorities.
A search of his van turned up two black duffel bags, one with pipe bomb materials and the other with a fake mustache, makeup and gum remover and a digital timer, according to police.
Tang already faces charges of arson, first-degree assault and crimininal possession of a dangerous weapon in a 2002 bomb attack in Brooklyn. N.Y. In that case, a pipe bomb was placed next to the van of a local businessman. When it exploded, it blew off part of the man’s right leg. New York police said the crime stemmed from a landlord-tenant dispute.
Tang was scowling when federal marshals brought him into a federal courtroom Tuesday afternoon. He was handcuffed and dressed in brown khaki prison garb.
Assistant Federal Defender Sarah Merriam, who was appointed to represent Tang, told Margolis that Tang “is in the middle of a hotly contested divorce.” Because ownership of property is an open issue, she added, he has no liquid assets and cannot afford a private attorney.
Tang said little during the short hearing, other than quietly uttering “not guilty” to the five counts.
Jury selection was tentatively scheduled for April 2. Tang remained under federal detention.
Randall Beach can be reached at rbeach@nhregister.com or 789-5766.

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