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Police, ATF Discuss Joint Investigation Of Weapons Found In Raleigh Storage Unit

Posted February 26, 2002

— Raleigh police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms offered some answers about a man they say was stockpiling guns and ammunition in a Raleigh storage unit. They also say the investigation is far from over.

The ATF and Raleigh police said they received a tip about a storage unit that contained dozens of weapons and explosives at A+ Self Storage along Atlantic Avenue. As authorities began their search, they were approached by Michael McMoil.

"He was challenged. He immediately took off running across Atlantic Avenue into the woodline. As he crossed the road, he pulled a weapon from his waistband and entered into the woods," said Raleigh police Capt. Mike Teem.

The incident prompted the two agencies to set up a perimeter and call out Raleigh's special enforcement unit, an armored vehicle and the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

Officers blocked the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Millbrook Roads and asked nearby businesses to lock their doors. About an hour later, police said they heard a muffled gunshot in the woods, and they discovered McMoil's body in the woods.

"Mr. McMoil was dressed in typical military-style clothing with a webbed belt and a holster and four magazines full of .45 caliber ammunition. A .45 caliber semi automatic handgun was located next to his body," said Chief Jane Perlov of the Raleigh Police Department.

Officers and ATF agents then resumed their search of McMoil's locker. They found ammunition, guns and what appeared to be automatic rifles, but no explosives. Authorities then continued down Atlantic Avenue to search for another cache of weapons and bombs in a storage unit they believe McMoil was using.

"It's a good seizure. I think again, it's alarming because it goes back to someone who wasn't supposed to have these guns had these guns," said Jim Mercer of the ATF.

Police records show McMoil was arrested in 1993 for assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon.

Robert Padovano, McMoil's former defense attorney, told WRAL that the former Marine had "a strange view of the government."

Padovano represented McMoil when he was tried on the felony charge eight years ago. He said McMoil served in the military and became disillusioned with the government.

"He believed the U.S. government was trying to take away our rights a little bit at a time at every turn," he said.

McMoil lived in the Raleigh area for about 20 years, working most of the time at a local electronics plant. The District Attorney's Office said that more arrests are expected in the case.

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