Ex-Refinery Worker Sentenced for Threats

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A man who threatened to blow up a Chevron refinery unless he was paid a disability settlement was sentenced Friday to nearly four years in prison.

Ronald Denton, 39, of Torrance, was given a 46-month term by a federal judge for interfering with interstate commerce by extortion and threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction.

He also was fined $10,000.

Denton worked at the El Segundo refinery for 14 years. He spent the last two years on paid disability after complaining of stress following a missed promotion, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.


During sessions with a psychotherapist, Denton said he would bomb the refinery and kill employees unless he were paid $3 million, authorities said.

Denton was arrested in March 2001.

Authorities searched his condominium and found an assault rifle, handguns, 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and books on explosives and how to evade arrest.