Update: Police continue investigation into Opelika mechanic found in possession of "Columbine-like" IEDs, dangerous weapons

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 14, 2013 

In an ongoing effort that may require the assistance of several other agencies, police are investigating the case of an Opelika, Ala. man who was found with several weapons and Columbine-like improvised explosive devices.

John Mullen, 42, a mechanic with Glover Tire Service, was arrested for possession of five bombs and five dangerous weapons Wednesday at about 9:30 p.m., according to a Columbus Police Department report.

Police Capt. Gil Slouchick said Mullen was arrested after police stopped him in his 1999 silver Dodge Durango in an unspecified park after hours. Officers spotted the weapons in his truck and then took the vehicles to headquarters, where officers found four homemade IEDs constructed out of what appeared to be silver cartridges with fuses coming out of them.

Columbus Office of Homeland Security Director Brad Hicks said the devices were small, hand-held devices that would most likely be thrown, complete with explosives, fuses and shrapnel.

"It contained an amount of explosives that could target an individual rather than a group of individuals or a business," Hicks said. "The devices that we recovered last night were very similar to the ones set off in the cafeteria in Columbine."

After officers found the IEDs, a bomb squad was called in and the devices were rendered safe. Hicks said no one was hurt by any of the weapons found in Mullen's vehicle.

In addition to the IEDs, Slouchick said police found a light grenade; a rifle, shotgun, hand gun and machine gun, all with silencers; a couple of hand guns that did not have silencers; and about 1000 rounds of ammunition.

Slouchick said officers worked the scene until early morning, and that the investigation is still in its infancy.

"We're probably going to have to bring in other agencies on this," Slouchick said. "It's going to be a coordinated effort in this investigation. We're going to continue investigating until we get all the answers we want."

Mullen, who is ex-military, was arrested and charged with possession of five bombs and possession of five dangerous weapons. He is being held in Muscogee County Jail.

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