FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 3, 2015
Contact: Heather F. Williamson
Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
20 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176-2809
REPEAT FELON AND DRUG DEALER SENTENCED FOR MANUFACTURING EXPLOSIVES AND ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF FIREARMS
JUDGE IMPOSES 23 YEARS IN PRISON
LEESBURG, Virginia – July 20, 2015. Henry Ru Yu, 30, appeared before the Circuit Court of Loudoun County, in custody, for sentencing on a three counts of manufacturing explosives, three counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one count of possession of a firearm while in possession of drugs. Judge Benjamin N. A. Kendrick, sentenced Yu to 23 years in the Virginia Department of Corrections
On the afternoon of January 1, 2014, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to Yu’s residence in reference to a suicide attempt. Deputies located Yu in his garage with a gunshot wound. Yu was conscious, but not alert, and transported to a hospital for medical treatment. Another individual present at the residence advised deputies that Yu used and distributed illegal drugs.
A search warrant was executed at Yu’s home by sheriff’s deputies. A search of the residence revealed numerous baggies of white powder, large amounts of unknown pills, baggies, corrosive chemicals, an assortment of weapons, grenades, and what appeared to be an improvised explosive device. Upon discovery of the homemade explosive device, the residence was evacuated and the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) were summoned to the scene.
Members of Fire Marshal’s Office and ATF responded and discovered three active explosive devices, two grenade bodies, pyrotechnic cord, pyrotechnic powder, and additional firearms and illegal controlled substances. The devices were rendered inoperable by the Fire Marshal’s Office and ATF, and the scene was released for further processing by law enforcement.
Yu pleaded guilty to the charges on February 9, 2015. At the time of his sentencing, Yu’s attorney proffered to the Court that Yu had constructed the explosives because he believed that a “zombie apocalypse was upon us.” Senior Assistant Gigi Lawless, who prosecuted the case, responded by presenting Yu’s criminal record consisting of seven prior felony convictions, including two prior felony drug distribution charges. Lawless asked the Court to impose a sentence commensurate with the aggravating factors of the case. “Drug dealers scourge on society. They addict people to dangerous substances for their own financial gain and prey off that need.” Lawless went on to say that dealing drugs is an “inherently violent business,” and that the “arsenal” removed from Yu’s residence by law enforcement was part of his drug business, not because of an impending zombie apocalypse.
Yu will have an additional 15 years of suspended time that could be imposed should he fail to be compliant with 15 years of supervised probation upon his release. The Court further ordered that all of the firearms be forfeited and destroyed.
On July 11, 2015, in a separate civil action before the Loudoun County Circuit Court, $7,967 seized from Yu’s residence during the execution of the New Year’s Day search warrant was forfeited to the Commonwealth under Virginia’s asset forfeiture statute. Yu did not contest that the seized money was used in substantial connection with, or represented proceeds from his distribution of illegal controlled substances, which proof thereof is required before and order of forfeiture is entered by a judge.