FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A federal jury trial set to begin next week for a Fort Smith man accused of making bombs has been canceled after he changed his plea.
Neil Ravi Mehta, 31, was arrested by the FBI in Austin, Texas, on Feb. 7.
According to court documents, Mehta’s trial, which was originally scheduled for Oct. 30, was canceled.
Mehta originally pleaded not guilty to both charges. However, a plea change hearing was held in Fort Smith on Oct. 26 at Mehta’s request, and he pleaded guilty to possession of a destructive device, fraud and false statements related to tax returns and false declaration before court.
As part of Mehta’s plea agreement, all other charges against him will be dropped. He now awaits sentencing.
Mehta was wanted by the FBI in Little Rock and the New Orleans division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after authorities executed a federal search warrant at Mehta’s residence in Fort Smith on January 31 and found an explosive device.
His arrest “ended a six-day manhunt,” according to the Department of Justice, and Mehta was charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device and possession of a destructive device unidentified by a serial number.
Click here for more information on Mehta’s arrest.