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Bomb suspect sentenced

RALEIGH – A Northampton County man received 70 months in federal prison here Tuesday.

Michael Thomas Carpenter, 36, of 336 Taylor Road in Garysburg pled guilty in federal court to charges of possession of a destructive device which is not registered in the National Firearm Registration and Transfer Record and felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Carpenter was arrested July 12, 2005 when a search for marijuana turned into something Northampton County Sheriff’s Officers didn’t bargain for.

During the search, officers found three pipe bombs and other bomb-making materials along with numerous weapons.

While searching the residence, deputies noticed what appeared to be a book bag on a table. A search of that bag revealed a pipe bomb. Two other like devices were found along with black powder and fuse cords.

After Carpenter was arrested in the case, he was transferred to federal custody.

”ATF initially came in when we started this investigation,” Sheriff Wardie Vincent said at the time. “They were very much interested in this case because of him having weapons of mass destruction.

“Both our office and the ATF looked at the gravity of what he had done and we decided they would handle the case from the onset,” he added.

Now that the case has been handled in federal court, Vincent said the people of Northampton County could rest easier.

“This was a guy who had the potential to be very violent,” the sheriff said Wednesday afternoon. “His demeanor could have been a major issue for us in Northampton County.

“I’m glad to have gotten him into the federal system and that it moved along quickly,” he added. “Now that the case has been adjudicated, justice was served according to the circumstances of the case. I’m sure it will make for a safer place in Northampton County with an individual of that caliber taken out of society.”

Carpenter will serve two 70-month sentences concurrently on the charges and then will be under three years of supervised probation after his release.