FIRST ON CBS7: Several pipe bombs found at Pecos home, ATF and FBI respond

Published: May. 16, 2019 at 2:49 PM CDT
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A Pecos man is in custody after investigators searched his house and found three armed pipe bombs as well as another that had been partially built.

The Reeves County Sheriff’s Office arrested 50-year-old Ernesto Perea for building the bombs, but haven’t said what federal charges he will face.

This all began Thursday morning when deputies served a search warrant on Perea’s house looking for tools and other items they believe he may have stolen.

Inside they found something that could have caused serious damage.

“It’s pretty dangerous,” Reeves County Sheriff Art Granado said. “We had to evacuate two blocks.”

Deputies first found a pipe bomb in the house and when they backed off and called in bomb squads to search the rest of the property, they found a rifle and even more explosives.

By the end of the day, investigators found three fully functional pipe bombs loaded with shrapnel and ready to detonate and another that was only partially built.

Granado said his department has never had to deal with anything like this before.

“We’ve never seen it. They might be out there, but we’ve never seen it. And this right here became because of my guys being so positive fighting crime. This all came out of a search warrant.”

We spoke to Jesse Orona who has lived across the street for several years.

He said he’s seen his neighbor get in trouble with law enforcement before, but not like this.

“We’re all surprised because we didn’t know this was happening,” Orona said.

He said it’s troubling to know dangerous explosives were only feet away from his nephew’s family.

“It’s no good because my nephew lives right here,” he said. “The fence are, y’know, separating the fence and he’s got children.”

Orona said the shocking find just goes to show that you never know what might be lurking next door.

“With some people, you never know what you’re going to find or what you’re going to get.”

The sheriff’s office also said Perea is a convicted felon but did not specify what charges he has been convicted of before.

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