MN pipe bomb maker and would-be revolutionary gets prison

Eric Reinbold, of Oklee, was sentenced in federal court on Friday.
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Eric James Reinbold

A northwestern Minnesota man who was said to be plotting a "second American revolution" is on his way to federal prison over the manufacture of pipe bombs. 

Eric James Reinbold, a 41-year-old Oklee resident, was sentenced to five years behind bars in a U.S. District court on Friday. 

This comes several months after a federal jury found him guilty of one count of "possession of unregistered destructive devices," which were found on hunting land in Red Lake County last fall and reported to police. 

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, the tip led police to a "plastic tote" filled with apparent pipe bombs, "gun powder, fuses, batteries, toggle switches, a Christmas tree light with cut wires, a kitchen timer... and a receipt for the fuses containing Reinbold's name and address."

When they executed a search warrant at his home, authorities discovered "materials similar to those found on the hunting land," a copy of the notorious bomb-making manual The Anarchist Cookbook, and a handwritten notebook Reinbold had titled, “How one (1) person Can make a difference *Instruction Booklet at the HCU (homemade commando university).”

Federal officials say this notebook contained information "related to manufacturing pipe bombs, making homemade explosives, how to use pipe bombs, and diagrams of bombs that match the bombs found in the tote."

According to the Star Tribune, Reinbold's writings also included mention of starting a “2nd American Revolution,” as well as "attacking government agencies like the IRS and 'feminism.'"

The paper says Reinbold's lawyers tried to argue that he was merely an "eccentric character" who never intended to hurt anyone, and asked for leniency because he's the "sole income earner for his family."

But prosecutors disagreed, pointing to his "willingness to follow through with building bombs detailed in the notebook" as well as his criminal history, which includes a 2015 incident in which he "repeatedly rammed his pickup into a car occupied by his wife and children," the Pioneer Press reports.  

In addition to five years in federal prison, Reinbold's sentence includes three years of supervised release, WCCO notes.

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