TYLER, TX (KLTV) - We are learning more about 52-year-old Larry Gene North. Authorities believe he is solely responsible for leaving more than 30 suspicious or explosive devices throughout East Texas.
He was one man, acting alone in a life, authorities say, that was filled with anger he clearly expressed.
"The devices in this community more than 30 in number have caused fear in this community and are nothing short of domestic terrorism," said Britt Featherston with the U.S. Attorney's Office.
East Texas law enforcement stood side by side with the announcement the fear has ended and the trail Larry North left behind is now seen in its entirety. ATF says the first of North's homemade devices appeared February 5th near Rusk County Road 242, resembling a Molotov cocktail.
More followed, and, March 24, the danger increased in the form of a pipe bomb. The device, recovered by a bomb squad, set the stage for the following month.
"Fortunately for us and unfortunately for criminals, they don't understand that, whether they are as careful as they can be, they leave evidence behind and we will use that evidence to find them and prosecute them," said Kenneth Chisholm, with ATF earlier in the investigation.
As more devices appeared to the east and west so did evidence leading to North, who authorities put under 24/7 surveillance. The payoff came on April 7th, when investigators observed North drop a package in a mail box at a Tyler shopping center. They moved in. But, strangely, North drove to the Smith County Peace Officer's building before authorities could arrest him. Authorities will not say why.
The ATF says they found an explosive device and other evidence linking North to the Laird Hill incident. It was enough for an indictment. Wednesday, the 52-year-old confined to his wheelchair was taken to the confines of a jail cell.
While he is only tied to one incident, authorities say there are plenty more tying the man to the terror in East Texas communities.
North was arraigned in a Tyler federal court Thursday, charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm - in this case a pipe bomb.
His defense has been granted the opportunity to have North undergo a mental health evaluation to ensure he is fit to proceed. North's attorney says the process could take weeks.
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