After responding to a tip about a possible stash of “missiles” and a “rocket-propelled grenade launcher,” detectives in Marion County, Florida, say they may have foiled an attack on a nearby police department, local officials said Monday. The attack was thought to be planned out of revenge for previous “run-ins” with local officers.
In a news release, Capt. James Pogue of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said detectives obtained a warrant and carried out a raid on Friday, searching a small shed where the heavy artillery was allegedly stored. Police found 22 firearms, several containers of black powder, two bulletproof vests and a stockpile of drugs and drug paraphernalia, but no rocket launcher was recovered.
Police arrested Christopher Conger, 32, and Jeremy M. Robertson, 29, who were inside the shed at the time of the raid, Pogue said. The two were charged on several accounts, including possession of cocaine with intent to sell and grand theft of a firearm. They weren't charged with the planned attack.
According to the tip, the attack was planned on the police department in Eustis, about 40 miles northwest of Orlando. A local church and Elk Lodge were also believed to be targets. Police are still searching for another person of interest.
Both Conger and Robertson denied making threats against the sites and said they did not know anything about the firearms or the drugs that were recovered, WESH Orlando reported.
Sheriff’s Maj. Terry Bovaird told the Orlando Sentinel the operation had some sophistication. “This isn’t like somebody found a joint somewhere and a guy had a small, little weapon,” he told the paper. “This is something that is significant.”
Eustis Police Chief Fred Cobb called the planned attack “concerning,” and said he shared his concerns with the Marion County Sheriff. “We take any threat directed at our officers seriously,” he said.