Wilmington, NC – A North Carolina man is facing federal charges for allegedly teaching a would-be cop-killer how to build and detonate explosives in order to murder law enforcement officers.
According to court documents, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launched an investigation into a suspected extremist after receiving information that he was allegedly attempting to recruit and organize a militia group to “engage against the United States Government,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina said in a press release on Monday.
When police tried to stop the suspect in New York on May 27, 2020, the suspect led them on a two-hour pursuit that ended in an exchange of gunfire.
The suspect was fatally shot during the incident.
Investigators searched his vehicle and located three improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
They also found additional IEDs and multiple firearms during a search of the suspect’s home, according to prosecutors.
Among the items located at the suspect house were Tackleberry Solutions instructional manuals written by 38-year-old Christopher Arthur.
Investigators searched the suspect’s cell phone and found that the suspect had gone to Mount Olive in March of 2020 to attend a training session with Arthur at Tackleberry Solutions.
FBI agents “covertly requested a free PDF document from Tackleberry Solutions” on March 19, 2021, according to a search warrant affidavit.
Shortly after making the request, investigators said they received an email from Arthur “indicating that he had to keep parts of the information in the PDF off of the internet since explosives were such a touchy topic.”
They subsequently began talking with Arthur over the phone about the manuals, according to the press release.
During a meeting at Arthur’s Mount Olive home on May 5, 2021, Arthur allegedly “explained how to properly place IEDs through one’s property, the importance of creating a fatal funnel, the setup and use of remote-activated firearms, and how to evade arrest after killing members of law enforcement,” according to federal prosecutors.
He allegedly disclosed this information “after learning the recipient of the explanation intended to kill federal law enforcement who might come to his home.”
Arthur also demonstrated how to build various IED components, including improvised initiators and tripwire switches, then gave the components he built during the demonstrations to the recipient, prosecutors said.
Arthur was arrested on Jan. 22, and a search warrant was executed at his residence.
Investigators seized and IED striker plate, multiple IEDs, and electronic IED trigger, bulk gunpowder, a pistol suppressor, and “mixed Tannerite explosive,” among other items, according to prosecutors.
Arthur was subsequently indicted for teaching another individual how to make and use an explosive, knowing that the individual intended to use that instruction in the attempted murder of federal law enforcement, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Michael Easley confirmed.
“According to these charges, the defendant provided someone with training on explosive devices knowing that person intended to use that information to murder or attempt the murder of law enforcement,” Easley said. “This type of behavior is criminal, it is unacceptable, and it will be prosecuted to the fullest extent.”
“Here in Eastern North Carolina, we will protect the brave men and women of law enforcement who are sworn to protect us,” he continued. “The Justice Department will aggressively investigate and prosecute those whose actions would further violence against those in uniform. Our public servants in law enforcement deserve nothing less.”
Arthur faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if he is convicted.