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Press Release

Bombmaking Instructor Who Taught How to Kill Law Enforcement Sentenced to 25 Years

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. – Christopher Arthur, 40, was sentenced today to a total of 300 months’ imprisonment for teaching another individual how to make and use an explosive knowing that the individual intended to use that instruction in the murder or attempted murder of federal law enforcement. In July 2023, he was convicted by a jury on that crime and eight additional counts, including receiving and possessing unregistered devices including a short-barreled rifle, a silencer, three improvised hand grenades, and an improvised claymore mine.

“Violence directed towards police, judges, and public servants will never be tolerated in a free society,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “This defendant’s property was wired with IEDs, the same design he sold to help others kill American law enforcement.  Anyone teaching bombmaking to target American heroes gets a lesson today - 25 years in federal prison.”

“At a time when law enforcement officers are being feloniously killed at an alarming rate, it is appalling to know what Christopher Arthur did. He made a living training people how to kill or injure those who proudly wear the badge. Now he will spend time in federal prison for his dangerous and deadly lessons,” said Robert M DeWitt, FBI Special Agent in Charge.

During his sentencing hearing, the court heard how Arthur and his company trained individuals to fight “the greatest threat” –   a threat he identified as a militarized force like law enforcement’s Special Warfare and Tactics (SWAT) Team. Also, evidence was presented related to a three-part, how-to video series about how to overthrow the government. During one of those videos, an image reads “Start with your LOCAL Government” and “Set the Standard -> Traitors get HUNG” over the image of a noose. Based on that and Arthur’s teaching of bombmaking to an individual knowing that they intended to use that instruction to murder or attempt to murder federal law enforcement, the court applied the terrorism enhancement for sentencing. Relying on this evidence and that presented at trial, the court imposed a maximum sentence on each of the nine counts of conviction.

The investigation into Arthur began after another individual died in a May 2022 shootout with police in New York. Search warrants related to that event resulted in the location of numerous Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and firearms along with multiple “Tackleberry Solutions” tactical instructional manuals which named Christopher Arthur as the author.  A review of the individual’s cell phone revealed Arthur had trained him in Mount Olive, North Carolina, for multiple days in March 2020.

On March 19, 2021, a confidential source (CS) working with the FBI requested training from Arthur.  After receiving introductory training materials, the CS attended training on explosives at Arthur’s Mount Olive home in May 2021.  During discussions between the CS and Arthur, the CS specifically informed Arthur that he needed such training because the ATF had visited his home and he expected them to return.  Arthur introduced the CS to a concept Arthur called “the spiderweb,” which he described as a “freaking deathbox.”  Over the course of a two-and-a-half-hour training, Arthur walked the CS through how to create IEDs and how to place them to create “fatal funnels,” which could be used to maim or murder anyone entering the CS’s home.  During that instruction, Arthur also showed the CS how to create an electric initiator for homemade grenades and bombs and how to make a homemade trip wire. Once he was finished demonstrating how to make the components, Arthur provided them to the CS and explained how to use an old shotgun to create a “thumper” that could launch homemade grenades.

Photo of bomb making materials

A search warrant was executed at Arthur's home in January 2022.  During the search, officers found an IED placed on the front porch with wires leading to a 9-volt battery powered switch located within the home. Additionally, three IED grenades co-located with a striker plate intended to assist in detonating the IEDs, an illegally altered short barrel rifle with an attached unserialized suppressor (i.e., “silencer”) and a fifth IED were recovered.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Court Judge James C. Dever, III. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Barbara Kocher and Logan Liles.

Related court documents and information are located on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 7:22-cr-00005-D.

Updated May 24, 2024

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