Weather Forecast


Red Lake County man accused of storing cache of pipe bombs faces federal charges

Eric James Reinbold

BEMIDJI—A northwest Minnesota man accused of having a cache of pipe bombs in rural Red Lake County now faces federal charges.

Eric James Reinbold, 41, of Oklee, Minn., was charged Jan. 24 in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota with possessing a firearm. The charge stems from an Oct. 22 search of Reinbold's hunting property near Oklee, where investigators found five steel pipes that appeared to be pipe bombs near a hunting trailer or shack, according to court documents. Investigators said the bombs were in a plastic container "partially concealed in a pile by concrete debris," according to court documents.

A bomb squad was called to the scene.

Reinbold sent text messages to investigators, telling them to get out of the structure and "there is nothing there that could hurt you," court documents said.

Agents later confiscated Christmas tree lights, fishing line and fishing hooks that allegedly were used to make the pipe bombs, according to court documents.

Reinbold initially was charged Oct. 30 in Red Lake County District Court with a felony count of possessing an explosive or incendiary device, but that charge was dismissed Jan. 29, according to the Minnesota Court System's website.

On Feb. 2, federal Judge Leo Brisbois ordered Reinbold to be detained without bond, citing a history of evading law enforcement. That included a June 2015 assault in which he was accused of repeatedly ramming his pickup into a car that contained his wife and children. The incident in Thief River Falls sparked a 12-hour standoff as officers tried to coax Reinbold, who said he had a weapon, out of woods where he was hiding.

He later turned himself in and pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and endangerment of a child by firearm. He was on probation for that case when investigators accused him of having pipe bombs.

Most recently, he was accused of violating the conditions of his release when he was arrested Nov. 7 in Kansas. His $15,000 bond ordered him to not leave the state.

Reinbold said he does not remember driving to Kansas, adding he "wound up there unintentionally," according to court documents.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

(701) 780-1248