Police recover 24 explosives from Wilmington home

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Erik Rudolph Arnebold
Erik Rudolph Arnebold

Detectives with the Wilmington Police Department recovered 24 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from a home on Patrick Avenue on Wednesday.

Erik Rudolph Arnebold, 37, was arrested Wednesday outside of his home at 4705 Patrick Ave., according to Capt. Jeff Allsbrook. He has been charged with 24 counts of possession of a weapon of mass destruction, as well as possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Allsbrook said the police department’s narcotics enforcement unit conducted an investigation into Arnebold’s activity due to information about his alleged involvement in illegal narcotics. Further investigation into his activity led detectives to believe that Arnebold may have been involved in possessing or manufacturing explosive devices.

Detectives consulted the department’s bomb squad and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and obtained a search warrant for the Patrick Avenue home. During Arnebold’s arrest, detectives found an IED–in plain view–outside of his residence.

Allsbrook said the residence was “constructed much like a fortress with windows and doors barricaded.”

Detectives located 23 more IEDs underneath a “hidden trap door” in the floor of the home.

“Of the 24 IEDs, 12 were constructed with enhanced shrapnel (lead shots commonly found in shotgun shells) on the inside,” Allsbrook said.

ATF agents responded to the scene, along with task force officers from the police department assigned to the local FBI office. Other items recovered from the residence include materials commonly used to manufacture pipe bombs, a handgun, rifle and an “extensive amount” of ammunition.

“The motive and any plans were not clearly defined and remain under investigation,” Allsbrook said.

“I would like to acknowledge the work and dedication of all the officers involved in this dangerous and volatile search of this residence….the motive for the creation of all the devices remains under investigation, however through the work of law enforcement in Wilmington, we feel that any violent acts planned for the future were certainly thwarted,” Allsbrook said.

Armebold is being held at the New Hanover County Detention Facility under a $625,000 secured bond.