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Indictment returned in pipe-bomb case


By F.T. Norton

WILMINGTON, NC (StarNewsOnline.com) — A federal indictment was handed down last month in connection with the discovery of pipe bombs in a Wilmington storage unit in February. Istvan "Steve" Merchanthaler, 43, is charged with unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition, unlawful possession of ammunition and possession of a non-registered firearm.

The federal grand jury indictment, filed Aug. 6, alleges that between Oct. 16 and Feb. 15, Merchenthaler, "did at or near Wilmington, North Carolina, receive and possess a destructive device, fashioned from plastic PVC pipe containing an explosive charge. …"

A warrant was also issued for his arrest on the bomb charges, but Merchenthaler is currently in a federal prison in Pennsylvania awaiting trial in an unrelated multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.

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