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Minnesota man who planned 'second American Revolution' found guilty

Eric Reinbold

FERGUS FALLS, Minn.—An Oklee, Minn., man whom prosecutors said planned to start an armed revolution has been found guilty of stockpiling a cache of pipe bombs in northwest Minnesota.

Jurors who sat this week in a federal trial in Fergus Falls returned a guilty verdict Friday evening for Eric James Reinbold, 41, on one count of possessing unregistered destructive devices, the U.S. Attorney's Office confirmed. He was arrested after an October search of his hunting property near Oklee turned up pipe bombs in a plastic container that was "partially concealed in a pile by concrete debris," investigators said.

Prosecutors argued Reinbold planned to start a "second American Revolution," referring to a notebook found on the defendant's desk. Notes described how to make bombs, how to survive in the wilderness and how to start a rebellion. The notebook also listed targets, including the IRS, police departments, teacher conventions and "the rich."

"Media will label you a serial killer, but real folk will call you a hero," the notebook, which had Reinbold's name written in it, said. "Make them disappear one by one."

The defense argued there was not enough evidence to prove Reinbold knew "the precise location of the purported pipe bombs" in the weeks leading up to his arrest, according to proposed jury instructions. His "theory of defense" suggests he had abandoned the pipe bombs, meaning he was not in possession of the explosives as charges claim.

It also argued some of the notebook should not be considered by the jury because it was irrelevant and had the potential to "wildly enflame the jury," according to motions to suppress evidence. The prosecution argued the notebook in its entirety is relevant, saying all of the notes lay out the defendant's intentions.

Reinbold, who maintained his innocence throughout the case, initially was charged in Red Lake County District Court. That case was dropped after the U.S. Attorney's Office decided to pursue federal charges.

Reinbold is expected to be sentenced Nov. 16.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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