SEBRING -- A pipe bomb found in the home of a man who is in federal custody for threatening to blow up a Sebring eye care center in 2015 was safely removed and dismantled Monday, May 8.
Deputies were called to a home on Jackson Heights drive Monday afternoon after a woman who was packing up to move said she found a pipe bomb in a laundry room cabinet. The woman’s grandson, 32-year-old Anthony Cauley, was arrested Oct. 21, 2015 and charged with four counts of possession of a destructive device and several other crimes. Investigators say he left a Molotov cocktail in a utility room inside the Newsome Eye Center on U.S. 27 and he was carrying four pipe bombs in a backpack when he was arrested. Cauley lived in the Jackson Heights home at the time of his arrest.
Cauley is in federal custody. He was recently found competent to stand trial and is scheduled to be tried in U.S. District Court in Fort Pierce on June 26.
When deputies responded to the home on Monday, they found what appeared to be a small pipe bomb -- a capped PVC pipe with a metal sparkler protruding from one end -- and notified Major Brandon Ball with the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
Ball said the device was very similar to the ones that were found in Cauley’s backpack in 2015. The pipes contained what is suspected to be smokeless gunpowder as well as fragmentation devices -- namely metal BBs and drywall screws. The device was taken to an empty field where Det. Raul Vallejo of the Fire Marshal’s bomb squad conducted a “render safe procedure that allowed us to collect the contents inside,” Ball said.
Ball said the device was dangerous. “It was certainly a viable IED (improvised explosive device),” he said, adding that he will work with prosecutors to add another charge to Cauley’s list.