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Texas man who sought to blow up pipeline, wrote to Unabomber in plea deal

By Jana J. Pruet

DALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas man accused of trying to blow up a gas pipeline and seeking guidance from Unabomber Ted Kaczynski reached a plea deal with prosecutors under which he will go to prison for an undisclosed term, court documents filed on Tuesday said.

Anson Chi, 35, was facing four counts of firearms and weapons violations that could have brought as many as 30 years in jail if convicted. Prosecutors said in their indictment that he tried to destroy a suburban Dallas section of a natural gas pipeline with a bomb in June 2012.

"The government and Anson Chi, defendant, have entered into a written plea agreement in relation to the pending charges," Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Stover said in a document filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

“We feel really comfortable with the deal,” Stover told Reuters. “He will be in prison for a very long time." The length of the term was not disclosed.

Jury selection for the trial started on Monday.Court documents said Chi, 35, began writing letters in July 2011 to serial bomber Kaczynski, who is serving a life sentence for deadly bomb blasts that killed three people and injured 23 in attacks between 1978 and 1995.

Kaczynski is serving a life sentence without parole at a federal maximum security prison in Colorado. In the letters, Chi told Kaczynski he shared his anti-technology beliefs and was seeking help developing a website.

Chi was arrested after a blood trail from the attempted pipeline explosion led to the house he shared with his parents.

Federal authorities then found chemicals and other material that could be used for bombs at the residence along with letters between Chi and Kaczynski, according to court documents.

(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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