Charles Salvatore Zito, a 78-year-old resident of Theodore, has been sentenced to five years of probation for constructing pipe bombs. The sentence, handed down by Chief U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Beaverstock, also mandates that Zito undergo mental health treatment.
Zito pled guilty in April to possession of a destructive device. He admitted to making two pipe bombs in August 2020, in the basement of his home on Cherokee Trail. The investigation leading to Zito’s arrest commenced in November 2020 after an Alabama Law Enforcement Agency marine police officer stopped a van carrying methamphetamine manufacturing components. The van’s occupants provided information that guided authorities to Zito.
Court records reveal that Zito initially claimed he intended to use the bombs to demolish an old shed. However, he later confessed to contemplating using them against his wife’s vehicle due to anger over her leaving him for another man. His plea agreement states that he requested a tenant to carry out the act, but the tenant refused, choosing to hide the bombs instead.
Zito affirmed to investigators that he never planned to harm the man involved with his wife. His history with incendiary devices includes a previous conviction for attempted murder in Florida, resulting in a 10-year prison sentence. In 1990, Zito confessed to placing a hand grenade in the mail a year earlier.