Local News

Plumber to Remain in Jail on Drug, Weapons Charges

Posted June 22, 2007 2:45 p.m. EDT
Updated June 22, 2007 6:53 p.m. EDT

— A plumber was ordered held on a $1 million bond Friday, a day after police seized homemade bombs, other weapons and a marijuana growing operation inside his Apex townhouse.

Travis Edward Aurand, 29, of 146 Anterbury Lane, is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell and deliver, maintaining a dwelling and vehicle for the purpose of selling marijuana and possession of weapons of mass destruction, including assault rifles and homemade explosives.

Police seized eight weapons, including an AK-47 and an SKS assault rifle, 3,000 rounds of ammunition, two gas masks, a flak jacket, a bullet-resistant helmet, blasting caps, a time fuse, assorted pipes, chemicals that can be used to make explosives, 19 cultivated marijuana plants and $7,910 in cash from Aurand's townhouse, according to a search warrant.

"For us, it's a horrible concern to have all these things mixed together in one spot," Apex Police Chief Jack Lewis said.

Police stumbled onto the operation when responding to a complaint about a barking dog. An officer who went to the townhouse smelled marijuana and investigated, police said.

Nearby residents were told to leave the complex while police investigated and secured the explosives.

"In a townhouse like that, the spread of a fire or some collateral damage would be horrible," Lewis said.

Aurand worked in Iraq for Halliburton for more than three years and now works part-time as a plumber in Raleigh, said his attorney, Hart Miles.

Miles said he knows of no motive for Aurand to make bombs in his home and said he needs to discuss the case more with police and other authorities.

"The man has no record, comes from a nice family. At this point, all I can say is we hope to find out a lot more about this. Hopefully, it's not as serious as it appears on the warrants," he said.

Aurand could have another bond hearing as early as next Monday.