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BALTIMORE – An Ohio man pleaded guilty in federal court after prosecutors said he tried to kill his romantic rival with a homemade explosive.

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Clayton Alexander McCoy pleaded guilty to transporting explosives with intent to injure and possession of an unregistered firearm/explosive device, the U.S. attorneys office in Maryland said in a news release.

Under the terms of the plea, McCoy admitted that he built a bomb at his home in Cleveland, Ohio, and then drove it to the victim’s home in Carroll County, Maryland. The victim was the boyfriend of a woman with whom McCoy had a romantic interest, and prosecutors said that McCoy intended to kill the victim.

Investigators said McCoy had met the victim’s girlfriend through a live action role-playing battle game social/club. McCoy expressed his interest in the woman in October 2020, and when she rejected him, prosecutors said McCoy hatched a plan to build and deliver the bomb to the victim’s house to kill him and remove him as a romantic rival.

McCoy admitted to going to a number of stores to get the ingredients necessary to make explosive powder and then manufacture the bomb, going so far as to buy single items from different stores in an attempt to evade detection by police, ABC News reported.

Investigators said McCoy created the bomb with shrapnel on the inside made of scrap metal that he sawed into small, triangular pieces. Those pieces were placed into a metal pipe to increase its deadliness when it exploded. McCoy placed the explosive into a white gift box, tied a red ribbon around the box and then armed a firing mechanism to deploy the explosive when the box was opened, prosecutors said.

The victim of the Oct. 30, 2020, explosion survived, but needed multiple operations and still has shrapnel in his body, NBC News reported.

Prosecutors said McCoy initially denied knowing about the bombing until police showed him maps of his movements, prompting him to admit that he made and delivered the bomb.

McCoy faces a maximum of 30 years in prison. The sentencing date has not been set.