JOHNSTON COUNTY, N.C. — The investigation continues in Johnston County into threats allegedy made by a high-ranking official in the Ku Klux Klan to blow up goverment buildings.
Charles Robert Barefoot, Jr., 39, is being held in a federal facility in Wilmington. He was arrested Friday on federal firearms violations as authorities investigated a possible plot to blow up Johnston County offices and kill the sheriff.
Deputies stopped Charles Barefoot Jr. and his son, Daniel Barefoot, on a vehicle charge Friday morning and found stolen weapons inside.
At Charles Barefoot's home on Mamie Road, near Benson, investigators seized an arsenal of weapons, including handguns, rifles, an Uzi and an AK-47 rifle weapon with a 100-round clip. Confederate flags and Klan robes were also found, according to Sheriff Steve Bizzell.
Authorities said Charles Barefoot was Grand Dragon of Nation's Knights after breaking away from the National Knights.
The Johnston County Sheriff's Office said Charles Barefoot may have been responsible for threats to blow up the Johnston County Sheriff's Office, the sheriff, the county jail and courthouse.
The sheriff's office, in a joint investigation with the FBI and the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said it received information that explosive materials were being assembled and that threats were being communicated.
"Any time that there is a threat to a government building, elected officials, my job as the sheriff is to protect the citizens of Johnston County," Bizzell said.
At Daniel Barefoot's home on Christmas Tree Road, near Dunn, Bizzell said deputies found bombs and bomb-making materials.
"From what our sources have indicted, these were serious threats," Bizzell said.
Daniel Barefoot has been charged with burning a Meadow school bus and a barn. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance in Johnston County Monday.
Officials said other arrests are pending.
Additional security measures were taken at the Johnston County Courthouse, jail and sheriff's office and for the sheriff after sources revealed the threat, Bizzell said.
"Sources have revealed that Junior Barefoot was meeting with members of his group or organization, and there were threats that were communicated in an anti-government way,'' Bizzell said. "The content of the communication was the possibility of blowing up the courthouse, specifically, the sheriff's office and the jail, and more specifically, the sheriff himself.''
The Cumberland Country Sheriffs's Office bomb squad and Sampson County deputies assisted in the search of the homes.
According to authorities, Charles Barefoot is under a domestic violence protection order. He was scheduled for a hearing at the Johnston County Courthouse on Monday.