A Jefferson man has pleaded guilty to accusations that he distributed bomb-making instructions, Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas Ganjei said Thursday.

Beau Daniel Merryman, 20, pleaded guilty to distribution of information relating to explosives and destructive devices before U.S. Magistrate Judge Roy S. Payne.

Merryman is accused of engaging in a series of online conversations with cover FBI employees between September and October 2019, during which he provided “detailed instructions on how to make multiple types of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), such as pipe bombs and pressure-cooker bombs,” officials said.

“This defendant had the knowledge, intent, and capability to inflict great harm on our East Texas community,” Ganjei said. “Thanks to the extraordinary investigative work of our agency partners, he was stopped before any lives were lost or damage was done.”

Merryman is accused of explaining how to construct IEDs, select explosives, pack shrapnel for maximum damage and construct fuses or detonating devices. He is also accused of directing that the IEDs be used to target critical infrastructure and federal law enforcement officers.

“This defendant believed he was sharing his knowledge and expertise with individuals who would cause significant damage or injury to targets, including federal law enforcement and critical infrastructure,” FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno said. “The FBI is committed to protecting our communities from harm and working with our law enforcement partners to disrupt violent activity. We ask the public to stay vigilant and to continue reporting suspicious or threatening behavior to law enforcement.”

Merryman was indicted in October 2019. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office, officials said.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Tyler Resident Agency, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Cass County District Attorney’s Office, Atlanta Police Department, and Tyler Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank Coan and Ryan Locker.

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