WOODMERE, NY (CBSNewYork) — The FBI, ATF and Nassau County police sifted through the home of a Long Island man who was arrested Tuesday after authorities say they found a cache of weapons, explosives and drugs inside his home.
Nassau County police say 53-year-old Marc Ringel was taken into custody after police were called to his Woodmere home for a silent alarm. When officers arrived, investigators say they smelled marijuana when Ringel opened the door and saw two hand grenades and a gun in open view.
Officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration were carting out evidence well into Wednesday night as Ringel sits in jail while police sit in front of his home securing a crime scene filled with so many munitions and marijuana.
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Officials say once they searched his home, they found a large cache of weapons and explosive devices inside.
“The search revealed 15 destructive devices, specifically pipe bombs. Fifteen improvised grenades, approximately 100 handguns, 20 long guns, approximately 50 pounds of ingredients that could be used to make explosives,” said Police Chief Steven Skrynecki. “There was enough explosive material in there to level that house and possibly the entire block.”
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Skrynecki says police also found lots of marijuana growing inside the home as well as a suspicious pit in the backyard.
“It had a wire going from a pit into the house,” said Skrynecki. “Initially it looks as though it might have been used to explode some of his devices in the backyard.”
The Nassau County bomb squad was called in and police evacuated 20 homes within 500 foot radius as a precaution. Those neighbors who weren’t evacuated watched from their windows as police searched the home.
“You bring your kids here to the suburbs thinking it’ll be a little safer, but unfortunately, it’s terrifying,” said neighbor David Yastrab. “It can happen in your backyard.”
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“I heard that there was drugs, weapons, shocking to me,” said neighbor Sarah Yastrab. “I drive past here all the time and never would’ve suspected there was something going on.”
A second bomb squad truck from Suffolk County was also called in to assist in the investigation.
Police say they are not sure of Ringel’s motives, but say the don’t believe he is a member of an extremist group or a terrorist. They also said that he is not a licensed pistol holder and that there will be a probe into how he got the explosives.
Police say the divorced, unemployed man was using his parents house while they wintered in Florida.
Ringel was taken to the hospital with health complaints and has a court date set for Thursday, when he will be arraigned on weapons and drug charges.
Police say they want to investigate Ringel’s contacts and lifestyle to see if they can figure out a motive.
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