Volusia County, FL. — Authorities say they’ve arrested a man who was creating a weapon of mass destruction in his home in DeBary, Florida, CBS Orlando affiliate WKMG-TV reports.
Police discovered explosive devices and about 200 containers inside the home. They contained unknown powders and acids — including nitric acid, sulfuric acid, sulfur — and other materials.
Sheriff Michael Chitwood said the chemicals were similar to items used in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Police responded to a domestic disturbance call Sunday after 31-year-old Christopher Langer told his parents he placed an explosive substance inside a grenade, officials said.
Langer was intoxicated and initially denied having a grenade, but then admitted he threw it outside and offered to lead investigators to it. A deputy found a pineapple-like grenade with a paperclip that prevented it from detonating, police said. Langer had allegedly purchased it at a supply store.
Police evacuated the home when they discovered the bomb-making materials inside. Police told reporters he believed Langer was working on a delivery system and building a bomb. A SpongeBob SquarePants lunch box was found that appeared to be “booby-trapped” for an explosive device.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives worked through the night to secure the scene, and at least 79 containers were placed in a containment area.
“That domestic violence call probably saved us from making national and international news,” Chitwood told WKMG-TV. “He has all the components in there to make a weapon of mass destruction.”
Chitwood said Langer was an anti-government heroin addict who wanted to “get even” by harming first responders. He said authorities were recently called to his home to revive him after he overdosed on heroin.
“Two weeks ago, we saved your goddamn life, and now we’re here, two weeks later, and you’re talking about how you want to blow us all up,” Chitwood said.
Langer’s parents told police that they were unaware of their son’s bomb-making materials, Chitwood said, adding that it was illegal for him to possess the items.
Langer was charged with making and possessing a destructive device. He’s being held at the Volusia County Branch Jail on a $5,000 bond. Police said additional charges are possible.