WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police and ATF officers arrested Erik Rudolph Arnebold after an investigation into drugs turned up 24 explosive devices.
Detectives say 23 of them were hidden down in a trap door under the house at 4705 Patrick Ave. in Wilmington.
“It’s not like I was ever intending on using them unless they were ever needed,” Arnebold said during at interview at the New Hanover County Jail Thursday. “That’s what the 2nd Amendment is about: the right to bear arms if they’re ever needed. That’s where I feel that this has all gone haywire. I mean they were dry walled into my house.”
Police say they were investigating the 37-year-old for having illegal narcotics. They say during the investigation, evidence showed Arnebold was making explosives, some built with shrapnel (lead shot) inside.
“Almost M-80 sized cherry bomb type explosives,” Arnebold said. “They have to be made of something. If it’s cardboard it’s still a pipe.”
Additional items found were materials commonly used for making pipe bombs. A handgun, a rifle, and an extensive amount of ammunition were also located in the home, which police say was constructed much like a fortress with windows and doors barricaded.
Investigators say they have no idea why he was making and storing the bombs. They also say they won’t be commenting on the arrest until they get more info from Arnebold.
Neighbors say they are just glad law enforcement was able to defuse the situation.
“Anybody who has their windows boarded up you just kind of get a shaky feeling about,” neighbor Logan Davis said.
“Really it scares the living daylights out of me knowing that we lived so close to him that if anything would have went off it could have hurt any of us,” Ashlyn Hooks said.
Still Arnebold maintains the charges against him are blown out of proportion.
“If I would have had to use them, it would have been for survival,” he said. “My curiosity got to me years ago when they were talking about that kind of stuff. This is what you get when you fear your government. Don’t put down your arms. Keep them up.”
Arnebold is in the New Hanover County Jail under a $1.5 million bond. He faces 24 weapon of mass destruction counts, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.