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Deputies uncover bomb cache in Red Lake County

OKLEE, Minn. -- A landowner's tip led to the discovery of several pipe bombs at an apparent explosives stash near a northwest Minnesota hunting cabin Sunday.


OKLEE, Minn. -- A landowner’s tip led to the discovery of several pipe bombs at an apparent explosives stash near a northwest Minnesota hunting cabin Sunday.

The Red Lake County Sheriff’s Office received a report of potential bomb-making materials found near a cabin in Equality Township, just northeast of Oklee, Minn., at 11 a.m. Sunday after a landowner made an unusual discovery, according to a press release.

A responding deputy “found what appeared to be several pipe bombs, in a container, hidden in a rubble pile on the complainant's property,” according to the release.

Sheriff Mitch Bernstein told the Herald the bombs were about 100 yards away from an unoccupied trailer home on the property. The bombs were simple pipe devices, capped at each end, packed with materials and designed to explode under pressure. He said there were fewer than 10 bombs.

The materials used to build the bomb would be widely available at any farming supplies store, Bernstein said.


“It was nothing really special and any of it can be purchased anywhere,” he said.

The Crow Wing County Bomb Squad arrived from Brainerd, Minn., at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, and two technicians were able to disable the bombs. A search of the property was conducted and the area was ruled safe at 7:30 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office said.

“We don’t run across that very often,” Bernstein said.

The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are assisting Red Lake County in the investigation.

Investigators believe the bombs were being stored at the property, not planted for detonation.

There is no early indication of how long the bombs have been at the property, who might have put them there or why. There are no persons of interest in the case at this time. Bernstein said. The sheriff does not believe there are any other such stashes in the area.

Anyone with information on the bombs is encouraged to contact the Red Lake County Sheriff’s Office at (218) 253-2996.

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