A Salem man is being held on $500,000 bond, after being arrested on Oct. 2 for an incident in which a bomb was used to blow up a mail box.
The explosion on Harmony Hill Road, which Sheriff Buck Foley said was powerful enough to be heard six miles away, took place about 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 27. Because tampering with a mail box is a federal offense, agents from the Postal Inspectors office and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms joined the investigation into the bombing.
A 51-year old Salem man, Jody Hall, was identified as a possible suspect in the bombing. According to an affidavit seeking a warrant for Hall's arrest, the home owner, Bob Windsor said Hall had come to his home earlier in the day, intoxicated and arguing about a car Windsor had sold him. Windsor added, in a previous visit to his home, Hall talked about making a silencer for a .22 caliber rifle out of a stainless steel piece of metal. According to Windsor, Hall demonstrated the silencer by shooting the rifle off Windsor's porch. The affidavit states that Hall "knew the silencer was illegal and he could get in big trouble for having it," and he talked about explosives and making bombs.
During the investigation, another man interviewed by police stated that Hall also harassed him after he sold a vehicle to him, and had talked about making silencers.
According to the affidavit, Chief Deputy Al Roork visited Hall's home on Oct. 2, at Hall's request. Roork noted Hall was very intoxicated and agitated about the vehicle Windsor sold him. Roork said Hall took a pistol from his pocket and began firing it, and said he wanted to speak to Roork as an old friend, not a policeman. "I got a .22 in the house with a threaded barrel with something on it that makes no noise when you fire it, and I can get 20 years in the federal penitentiary for having it," Hall is reported to have said.
Later on Oct. 2, a postal inspector who was at the bomb scene looking for pieces of an explosive device notified the sheriff's department that Hall had shown up at the Harmony Hill address.
Foley and Roork responded, stopping Hall on Wheeling Road. He was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated, and a semiautomatic handgun was taken from him.
On Oct. 3, the Sheriff's Department, postal inspectors, ATF, the Drug Task Force and Salem Police executed a search warrant on Hall's property on Fairview Road in Salem.
According to the affidavit, the search yielded two homemade gun suppressors (silencers), what appeared to be an artillery round fuse, one remanufactured hand grenade, numerous homemade trembler switches, a section of "Det Cord" explosive device, cannon fuse, 19 blasting caps, 12 explosive device boosters, potassium chlorate used in the manufacture of incendiary devices, smokeless powder, black powder and other items that are used to manufacture explosive devices. The artillery round fuse was rendered safe (discharged) on the scene by the Arkanas State Police Bomb Squad.
Hall has been charged with two counts of Criminal Use of a Prohibited Weapon, 31 Criminal Acts Involving Explosives and Driving While Intoxicated.Hall could also face federal charges. He is being held in the Fulton County Jail in lieu of a $500,000 cash only bond.