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Pipe bombs spur arrest

By By Janet Little Cooper
A Flomaton man was found July 5 with what authorities said were five pipe bombs. Gregory Wendall Nichols, 45, of 261 Powell Circle, was arrested following a vehicle stop at a convenience store located at the intersection of highways 31 and 113 in Flomaton.
Flomaton Police Chief Mike Lambert said Nichols was arrested and charged with a federal offense and faces other state felony charges in connection with the bombs.
In a statement released by Lambert, five homemade pipe bombs made from CO2 cartridges were found in Nichols' vehicle. Agents with the Alabama Department of Tobacco and Firearms and Mobile's Bomb Squad were notified with the bomb squad securing and taking possession of the devices.
Mike Messenger, a supervisor with the ATF agency, said Nichols gave consent to search his residence on Powell Circle in Flomaton.
"Components used in making the pipe bombs, or 'crickets' were found at his residence," Messenger said. "We also discovered several firearms at the residence as well."
Nichols has been charged with possession of an unregistered explosive device, a federal offense, and unlawful possession of explosives, which is a class C felony in the state of Alabama. The felony charges are pending a grand jury presentation.
According to Messenger, an arraignment hearing was held for Nichols on Thursday, after which he was released on his own recognizance. A detention hearing will be held in Mobile on July 11 to determine whether he will be detained further.
Nichols has not been charged with any violations concerning the firearms found at his home, Messenger said.
Nichols was employed in Atmore at the time of his arrest.