A middle-aged man in Pennsylvania has admitted on Monday, Aug. 9, to planting improvised bombs in Downtown Pittsburgh last year, at the height of mass protests after the death of George Floyd.

Matthew Michanowicz, a 53-year-old man from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has pleaded guilty to violating federal firearms law when he left explosives in Downtown Pittsburgh on May 31, 2020, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office press release.

Around the end of May, there were demonstrations across the city of Pittsburgh and other cities in the U.S. sparked by the murder of George Floyd, who was choked to death after being under the knee of cop Derek Chauvin for nine minutes and 29 seconds during a needlessly violent arrest.

The protests lasted across the summer and led to the conviction of Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.

On June 1, 2020, an unidentified camouflage backpack was found in PNC Plaza at Pittsburgh, deposited under a tree. Inside the bag were three homemade explosives, though it remains unclear if they were rigged to explode.

Michanowicz would later be questioned by authorities, but he denied going downtown to deposit the improvised bombs, saying that he visited the city proper only to assess the damage that the protests made, according to CBS affiliate KDKA.

However, surveillance footage caught Michanowicz seemingly going to the PNC Plaza and depositing the bag there himself on May 31, 2020, before riding away on his bike.

A raid of his home by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives yielded multiple backpacks similar to the one found at the scene as well as fuses, partially-burned fuse remnants, and a syringe with what was possibly ignitible fluid, according to Trib Live.

Michanowicz is currently at Allegheny County Jail after his $100,000 bail was revoked when he tried to sneak back into his home after he was originally released.

Violation of federal firearms law carries a sentence of up to 10 years in jail as well as a possible $250,000 fine.

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Matthew Michanowicz was caught planting explosives in downtown Pittsburgh during the George Floyd protests in the area last year. This is a representational image. Photo by Lina Verovaya on Unsplash.

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