by April Scheinoha
An Oklee man now faces a federal charge in connection with the October 2017 discovery of five pipe bombs northeast of Oklee.
Eric James Reinbold, 41, has been charged with possession of a firearm, namely a pipe bomb, according to online court documents. The federal charge was filed Thursday, Jan. 25. Reinbold was scheduled to appear in court for that charge Wednesday, Jan. 31.
Reinbold had earlier been charged in Red Lake County District Court with felony possession of explosive or incendiary devices. Red Lake County Attorney Mike LaCoursiere dismissed that charge without prejudice Monday, Jan. 29. The case had been scheduled to go to trial Wednesday, Jan. 31 in Red Lake County Court District Court.
The pipe bombs were found Sunday, Oct. 22 near a hunting trailer at 18511 330th Ave. S.E. in Equality Township. A receipt and text messages allegedly linked Reinbold to the pipe bombs. A man found the pipe bombs and bomb-making materials inside a plastic container on his family’s hunting land. According to the federal complaint, the man said the container was partially hidden in a pile of concrete debris.
Two members of the Crow Wing County Bomb Squad disabled the pipe bombs later that day. The contents of one of the detonated pipe bombs was consistent with gunpowder.
Inside the container, law enforcement allegedly found “five steel pipes with end caps on both ends, protruding wires and/or batteries or fuses attached to the wiring.” Two pipes featured wiring that was attached to switches and batteries. Wiring was attached to a third pipe. The fourth pipe featured a “green hobby type time fuse,” and the fifth pipe feature a similar fuse with writing listing a “two-minute fuse.”
Other items were found in the container, included “two jugs of Pyrodex gunpowder, fuses, batteries, toggle switches, a Christmas tree light with cut wires, a kitchen timer, nerf-gun bullets with fishing hooks attached to them, and papers.” Among the documents was a receipt for the fuses listing Reinbold’s name and address.
Reinbold had permission to be on the property since he is a member of the family, according to the complaint. The caller allegedly said he had seen Reinbold on the property.
While law enforcement were on the property, Reinbold allegedly sent several text messages to the man. In two text messages, Reinbold told the man that he should tell law enforcement to leave. He also noted there was nothing that would hurt anyone and the man should tell law enforcement “it’s old junk.” Reinbold also asked whether law enforcement found an old gun buried on the property. The man said Reinbold was farming nearby at the time and may have seen law enforcement there.
A search warrant was executed Nov. 2 at Reinbold’s home. Law enforcement allegedly found “four galvanized steel end caps with attached wires; several small Christmas tree type lights with the wires cut; nerf-gun bullets with small fish hooks and wire attached; and a notepad containing handwritten notes on multiple topics related to manufacturing pipe bombs, making homemade explosives and how to use pipe bombs.”
The lights and nerf-gun bullets were similar to those found on the hunting land. A special agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives believed both could be used to detonate explosives.
Reinbold was arrested before the search warrant was executed. On Oct. 30, he posted a $15,000 bond while the Red Lake County Sheriff’s Office was still working on the search warrant. Reinbold was arrested on a warrant Nov. 7 during a traffic stop in Hutchinson, Kan. His vehicle allegedly contained $2,500 in $100 bills, his passport, an atlas and camping gear.
Reinbold is currently on probation for 2015 charges of felony second degree assault and gross misdemeanor child endangerment. Those charges stemmed from an incident in which he blocked his wife and children’s exit from their property while he was armed with a handgun. The incident led to a standoff with law enforcement from three counties. In September 2016, a stay of adjudication was granted for the felony charge, and he was sentenced for the gross misdemeanor charge. As a condition of each charge, he was ordered to serve 60 days in jail or on electronic home monitoring. Those sentences were served concurrently with one another.