PORTLAND, Oregon — Jason Paul Schaefer, 28, of Beaverton, Oregon, was sentenced today to 40 years in federal prison and 5 years’ supervised release for detonating an improvised explosive device on October 11, 2017, assaulting two members of the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).
In May 2019, Schaefer was convicted after a six-day trial of two counts of assaulting a federal officer and one count each of carrying and using a destructive device during and in relation to a crime of violence, carrying and using an explosive during the commission of a federal felony, unlawful transport of explosive materials, possession of an unregistered destructive device and being a felon in possession of explosives.
“The government may never fully know why Mr. Schaefer amassed a large quantity of dangerous precursor chemicals and the components needed to make a large, remote-detonating bomb. What we do know is that on October 11, 2017, he tried to kill two federal task force officers attempting to make a lawful arrest,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “We owe a debt of gratitude to the JTTF agents and partners and our prosecutors for protecting our community by taking this violent criminal off the streets. This prosecution affirms the critical public safety mission of the JTTF and the need for continued and active participation of all federal, state and local partners.”
“Jason Schaefer’s sentence is commensurate to the danger he posed to his neighbors in the community. The officers and agents of the FBI’s JTTF hope this sentence will serve as a deterrent to others who may consider dangerous or violent illegal actions,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.
“The Oregon State Police is proud of the collaboration among our local and federal partners on the JTTF, with our mutual goal to keep Oregon safe. We are grateful that our troopers and taskforce officers were not seriously injured during this rapidly developing event. OSP is also appreciative of the time and attention of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to seek justice in this case,” said Travis Hampton, Superintendent of the Oregon State Police.
“The Washington County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the JTTF and partnering agencies for their hard work in this investigation. We value these important public safety partnerships that work tirelessly to keep our communities safe,” said Pat Garrett, Washington County Sheriff.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, on or about September 21, 2017, FBI Portland determined that Schaefer had purchased several items that could be used to make a bomb. Schaefer was known to federal investigators after an April 2017 incident where he threatened to kill his landlords and used mercury to deter people from entering an apartment garage he rented in Beaverton. The incident led to Schaefer being arrested and prosecuted for illegally possessing body armor.
On October 11, 2017, federal agents and task force officers executed a search warrant on Schaefer’s Beaverton apartment. Schaefer arrived that morning at a meeting with his probation officer to find two federal agents there to meet him. They notified Schaefer of the warrant and asked if his property was booby trapped. Schaeffer told the agents that it was not and the search commenced.
After a brief conversation with the agents, Schaefer departed in a white sport utility vehicle. The agents followed Schaefer, but lost him. Meanwhile, agents searching Schaefer’s apartment found several explosive precursors and electronic matches. While the search was ongoing, Schaefer returned to the apartment and threatened a task force officer before fleeing.
Two task force officers pursued Schaefer who soon got stuck in traffic. The officers approached Schaefer on foot and ordered him out of the vehicle. Schaefer did not comply, threatened to kill the officers and ignited an explosive device concealed in a cigarette pack. The blast caused significant injury to Schaefer’s hand and sent debris flying into one of the officers, who suffered bodily injury. Following the explosion, Schaefer was arrested and officers found a second cigarette pack containing explosives in his vehicle.
This case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon. It was investigated by the Portland JTTF. The Portland JTTF includes FBI special agents and more than a dozen state and local law enforcement officers.