A North Carolina man was arrested by Person County Sheriff’s Office earlier this week and he is now being charged with manufacturing weapons of mass destruction.
The 47-year-old man, Randall Allan Lee, was charged after local law enforcement reportedly found 31 pipe bombs in the woods near his residence.
The law enforcement officers acted on a tip from someone familiar with the situation.
Here’s more, from ABC News:
The Durham Bomb Squad assessed and neutralized the bombs, according to the release.
Person County is in north central North Carolina. Its county seat, Roxboro, is about 30 miles northof Durham.
Lee was charged with 31 counts of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. His next scheduled court appearance is July 19, according to online court records.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 9, 2018
“During the investigation, approximately 31 devices were located,” a news release from the Sheriff’s office said, as CBS 17 reports.
According to the reports, the homemade devices were PVC-styled piping, full of explosive materials. “They were not armed where they were ready to fire but they could have been armed very quickly,” Person County Sheriff Dewey Jones added.
Per U.S. Code, a “weapon of mass destruction” is: any weapon that is designed or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals, or their precursors; or any weapon involving a biological agent, toxin, or vector; or any weapon that is designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a level dangerous to human life.
Local law enforcement does not believe the man had any ill-intent with the devices but said he was storing them in preparations for “doomsday.”
As ABC 11 reports, local resident Bernard Jay responded, “I was like, ‘bomb?’ C’mon. Why would anybody have a bomb? What would be their use?”
Here’s more, via The Courier Times:
The bombs were discovered Monday when a soil scientist team working in the area reported a suspicious item in the woods near the 900 block of Lucy Garrett Road. The suspicious item was located and the Durham bomb squad was called in to assist with the assessment of the item. During the investigation, approximately another 30 devices were located by members of the Person County Sheriff ’s Office, Durham County bomb squad, members of the FBI and ATF, and K9s from Durham, Vance, and Cumberland Counties that were trained in the detection of explosives.
The items that were located were then detonated by the Durham County bomb squad.
When the bombs were first discovered, authorities cleared the area and notified 15-20 nearby residents of the situation. Three residents evacuated their homes temporarily.
Jones said no one was ever in any danger because of the bombs.
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
‘Doomsday’ man arrested after 31 pipe bombs found in Person County, officials say https://t.co/H2irrRBDvd
— CBS 17 (@WNCN) June 8, 2018