DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas man pleaded guilty Thursday, Oct. 22 to charges in connection with placing a “hoax bomb” on a Dallas railroad track, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox announced.

Mark Ashley Robert, 37, pleaded guilty to one count of false information and hoaxes.

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Robert admitted to placing a device on the Kansas City Rail Line railroad tracks in Dallas, during the early morning hours of December 21, 2018.

Fake bomb on railroad track (credit: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas)

A railroad conductor noticed a red and green flashing LED light in the middle of the tracks while operating on the railroad.

The conductor observed what appeared to be a box wrapped in electrical tape with a nine-volt battery attached to the side of the device.

The Dallas Police Department Bomb Squad responded to the scene to assess the device.

Upon examination, they determined the box, placed by Robert, appeared to resemble an improvised explosive device (IED).

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As a result, officers rendered the device safe.

Law enforcement submitted the remaining parts of the device to the FBI for latent print examination.

Through the course of that examination, Robert’s fingerprints were recovered.

Robert faces up to five years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

A sentencing date has been set for March 5, 2021.

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