MESA, Ariz. – More than 40 pipe bombs containing shrapnel were reportedly found in the home of an Arizona man after police say they discovered suspicious materials in his vehicle.
A traffic stop by the Arizona Department of Public Safety Wednesday allegedly uncovered bomb-making components in the vehicle of 51-year-old Jeffrey Metcalf, a former Marine, reported ABC 15.
“The task force obtained and served a search warrant at Metcalf’s residence in Mesa where a total of 42 pipe bombs were found along with material for the manufacturing of another possible 30 pipe bombs,” the Arizona Department of Public Safety said in a statement.
The devices, allegedly made by Metcalf, were found to contain shrapnel, which gives them an “enhanced lethality,” authorities said. It took three hours for eight technicians to remove the explosives from the home and another three hours to disarm them.
One of Metcalf’s neighbors, Craig Henry, said he and his family were evacuated for several hours without ever receiving an explanation.
“He was pretty open that he had PTSD and that’s why he was separated from the military,” Henry said. “You don’t make bombs just for the practice, no, he obviously had something in mind to use them for.”
“This situation could’ve had tragic consequences had it not been for the excellent work of DPS detectives, our counterparts at Phoenix and Mesa Police along with ATF. The investigation was yet another shining example of the unparalleled cooperation we enjoy in Arizona between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies,” said Colonel Frank Milstead, Director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
Metcalf was arrested and is facing 40 related weapons counts, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney.
Metcalf later reportedly told authorities he had made the weapons over the course of four years because his wife was fearful of the government’s collapsing, according to ABC 15.
Authorities confirmed the evacuation of several homes in the area while rendering the explosive devices safe.
“The cooperative efforts of the AZDPS task force worked quickly and decisively to ensure public safety was not compromised,” said ATF Phoenix Field Division Special Agent in Charge John Durastanti.