MINNEAPOLIS -- A Houston man was sentenced Tuesday to nearly two years in federal prison after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives became of aware through a magazine article that he was making explosives.
Kenneth Ray Miller, 58, pleaded guilty in September in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis to a count of manufacturing and dealing explosive materials. On Tuesday, Miller was sentenced by Judge Patrick J. Schiltz to 22 months in federal prison. Miller's prison sentence will be followed by three years of supervised probation.
He is also prohibited from buying, selling, using, or possessing pyrotechnic materials -- conditions he already was subject to at the time of the 2019 magazine photo feature.
Miller has two previous federal convictions. In 1986, Miller was convicted in Texas for illegally manufacturing explosives. In 1993, he was convicted in North Dakota for illegally possessing firearms as a felon.
Miller came to the attention of law enforcement after being featured in a Popular Science photo essay that was published online in 2019. In the piece, Miller is identified as a pyrotechnics expert who "designs smoke displays for NFL games and air shows, but he tests his most destructive creations at home."
Through that piece that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives became aware that Miller was manufacturing pyrotechnics on his property in Brownsville.
The ATF was assisted in the investigation by the Houston County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Paul Police Department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.