Washington Man Receives 2-Year Prison Sentence for Constructing Fully Operational Cannon in His Garage

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

An Eastern Washington man has been sentenced to two years in prison for assembling a working, homemade cannon on his property.

63-year-old Kent Kimberling of Garfield has been sitting in the Spokane County Jail since January 2020, after investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms found a fully functional cannon in his garage. He had painted the cannon red, white and blue. The Washington man pled guilty in March.


Kimberling pleaded guilty in March to possession of an unregistered destructive device and was sentenced Tuesday before U.S. District Court Judge William Fremming Nielsen in a closed courtroom Tuesday at the request of his attorney.

Investigators went to Kimberling’s home to conduct a welfare check and found the cannon, which was later tested by federal agents and found to be operational. It fired a soda can, “leaving a large hole in the center of (a) target,” according to court records.

The bore of the cannon measured at one and one quarter inches. Federal law limits bore size one half inch.

Kimberling claims he was under the impression that the device was legal. He has also made statements questioning the integrity of his local police.

Kimberling told federal agents he believed construction of the device was legal, documents said. Investigators also said Kimberling told them “numerous times that he believed the police and police chief were out to get him and that the Town of Garfield is corrupt.”

The cannon connoisseur believes his two-year sentence is unjust, as he is the sole support for his aging mother and had no intentions of using the device to bring harm to any public officials.

Perhaps next time he’ll work on an F-15 instead.



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