Contractor pleads to federal explosives charges

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A contractor has pleaded guilty to explosives storage and record-keeping charges after his failed 2015 implosion of a 100-year-old smokestack ended with the structure collapsing on the track hoe he was using to complete the job.

Acting U.S. Attorney Robert O. Posey says 54-year-old Timothy Manley Phifer, of Pell City, entered the plea Tuesday before U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor to one count of failing to record the acquisition of explosives and one count of improperly storing explosives.

Phifer, who owns Phoenix Services of Alabama, is scheduled for sentencing Aug. 14. The maximum penalty for failure to record acquisition of explosives is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine while the maximum penalty for the other misdemeanor charge is one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

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