Search warrant: Charlotte man obtained chemicals to make bombs in apartment, FBI got warrant for DNA, fingerprint samples
Authorities said the man’s roommate came forward with the information.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – FBI agents in Charlotte obtained a search warrant for the fingerprints and DNA material of a man they said was making bombs in his apartment.
According to the application for the warrant filed April 4 in U.S. District Court for the western district of North Carolina, authorities spoke with the man’s former roommate, who said the two moved into a Charlotte apartment together in mid-2020.
Around June 2021, Marcus Pinson asked his roommate to purchase chemicals for him online because he knew that ordering a “certain amount would get him on the FBI list,” court documents stated.
“I know I didn’t do anything I know I didn’t plan on doing anything,” Pinson, who hasn’t been officially charged, told WBTV. “I know I’d never go out of my way to hurt somebody and if they decide to charge me they can.”
The roommate said he came home from work in August 2021 and the man had a disc-like device that he ignited in the yard behind the apartment. That device emitted a smoke cloud and was described as a “poor man’s tear gas grenade” that could cause chemical burns if someone were exposed to the fumes, according to the affidavit.
After the device was detonated, the man told his roommate that it would be beneficial to have one available to detonate in situations such as riots and protests, authorities said.
“There’s no FBI list to my knowledge,” Pinson added. “I wasn’t ever really worried about that, because nothing I ever purchased was that kind of regulated.”
According to the roommate, Pinson made additional comments about harming people, such as “wouldn’t it be nice if we could just poison all the homeless,” and “it needs to be legal to slot Commies.”
The roommate told authorities that “slotting” meant to put a bullet in a person’s head, court documents state.
According to the affidavit, both the man and his roommate discussed at length the Kyle Rittenhouse trial and the potential for riots in the aftermath of the verdict, which was handed down on Nov. 19, 2021.
On Jan. 8 of this year, the roommate contacted the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and advised detectives that the man may be creating chemical bombs and was seen reading the “Anarchist Cookbook,” court documents state.
Pinson says he likes to read and just wanted to expand his collection.
“I collect books I have several bookcases,” he said.
On Jan. 9, CMPD officers were called to the man’s apartment after he was accidentally shot in the back by a person who was “field stripping” an AR-style rifle that went off, according to court documents.
The next day, CMPD detectives called the FBI and advised them of the information they had received from the man’s roommate on Jan. 8.
FBI agents conducted a telephone interview with the roommate on Jan. 14, followed by an interview at the FBI Charlotte field office guard shack five days later, warrants state.
During that interview, investigators said the roommate had brought with him an “incendiary device” the man had made months prior. The FBI’s bomb technician assessed that it was potassium perchlorate and an incendiary device.
“Again I didn’t make any devices,” Pinson said. “I think they’re talking about the smoke bombs. The smoke bombs were for fun.”
According to the roommate, he did not know where or how the man acquired the chemicals for the device. He also showed authorities the pictures of the books the man had recently purchased online. Some of the titles were: “The USA Army Improvised Munitions Handbook,” “Camouflage Moving in Combat,” and “The Advanced Anarchist Arsenal,” among other titles, court documents state.
Additionally, the roommate advised that several more devices made by the man were in the Charlotte apartment, according to authorities.
On Jan. 19, the CMPD bomb squad did a search of the apartment. During that search, authorities said they seized seven identical devices to the one brought to the FBI Charlotte guard shack by the roommate.
“Additionally, CMPD bomb squad observed on the premises of the apartment approximately seven (7) firearms, two pounds of Tannerite and various chemicals,” court documents state.
According to law enforcement, the bomb squad conducted a field test on the chemicals and found they reacted “consistent with chemicals used in making incendiary devices.”
The next day, FBI Charlotte executed a search warrant on the apartment. Agents said they found masking tape, rubber bands, aluminum tape, a metal device container, matchsticks, various fuse cords and various chemicals.
According to court documents, FBI agents confirmed the items were consistent with the device that was brought to the Charlotte field office, as well as the devices seized from the apartment the day before.
The affidavit states there is probable cause to believe the man violated federal criminal statutes, including receiving and possessing a firearm not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record and making a firearm in violation of U.S. code.
According to court documents, the FBI agent obtained the search warrant on April 4 and returned an executed copy to the court on April 12.
“The FBI’s just doing their job,” Pinson said. “I have no grudge against them and if they decide to charge me it’ll come out in the courts.”
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