A Burleson man who apparently idolized the Columbine High School shooters and possessed a homemade bomb was sentenced today to 168 months in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.
Noah Robert Calderon, 22, was charged via criminal complaint in April and indicted in May. He pleaded guilty in July to one count of possession of an unregistered firearm and one count of receipt of child pornography and was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor, who also ordered him to 30 years of supervised release.
“There is no greater example of the Justice Department’s, and our U.S. Attorney’s Office’s, commitment to protecting the public—including protecting the children in our community—than our efforts in this case,” said U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton. “We thank our law enforcement partners for working incredibly hard to take this potential bomber and child predator off the streets. We stand committed to continuing to root out and prosecute such dangerous individuals in north Texas.”
“Today’s sentence is a shared success with the community who heeded the call to action to report suspicious activity when they saw suspicious activity. The information shared with law enforcement exhibited a distinctive pathway to further violence, that was ultimately thwarted by law enforcement and led to multiple federal charges,” said Dallas FBI Special Agent in Charge Chad Yarbrough. “The FBI will continue to aggressively pursue individuals that move beyond rhetoric into action as they threaten the safety of our communities. We continue to ask for the public’s assistance in reporting threatening behaviors, and will work closely with our partners for swift adjudication.”
The investigation began in October 2022, when the FBI received a tip about Mr. Calderon’s social media activity.
Court documents indicate that online, Mr. Calderon professed a fascination with high-profile mass shootings, particularly the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School. He posted numerous images of himself in tactical-style vests posing with AR-15-style rifles and shared Columbine-themed memes along with images of homemade explosives.
In March 2023, the FBI received another tip that Mr. Calderon had detonated a homemade bomb in his residential neighborhood.
In plea papers, he admitted that he had purchased explosive precursors online. He also admitted that he stored 659.2 grams of explosive powder, along with a lighter, cannon fuse, cardboard tubing, a glass jar marked “frag” that contained metal ball bearings, lead, a funnel, and measuring spoons, in his garage.
A subsequent search of his Google account revealed queries related to the Columbine killers, the Charleston church shooter, “pipe bomb how to make,” “how to make propane bombs,” and “wear [sic] were the propane bombs in Columbine,” as well as searches of the names of several local public schools.
In plea papers, Mr. Caldron specifically admitted to searching for bomb-making information.
A search of his phone revealed sexually explicit videos taken from a video chat between Mr. Calderon and a 13-year-old girl.
Also in plea papers, he admitted he was aware of the child’s age when he saved the videos.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office, the Burleson Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Weimer prosecuted the case with National Security Division Trial Attorneys Justin Sher and Jacob Warren.