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Police find hoax bomb, ammunition in apartment of man who allegedly had explosives

GRAND FORKS -- Police said they found multiple rounds of ammunition, a hoax bomb and other weapons in the apartment of a Grand Forks man who allegedly was in possession of three explosive devices, but the intended use of the items remains unclear.

GRAND FORKS -- Police said they found multiple rounds of ammunition, a hoax bomb and other weapons in the apartment of a Grand Forks man who allegedly was in possession of three explosive devices, but the intended use of the items remains unclear.

Jeffrey Baldwin Cutter, 32, was arrested and charged in Grand Forks District Court with reckless endangerment and possession of explosives, Class C felonies, after police responded to a "shots fired" call a little after 5:30 a.m. May 6 at 2222 S. 17th St. in Grand Forks. They found two bullet holes in the kitchen ceiling of an apartment below Cutter's unit, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Cutter told police he was "cooking with an open flame when some black powder he had in the kitchen area ignited," an affidavit stated.

He told police he wanted to exercise his Miranda rights and not answer questions or have the police come in his apartment, so police obtained a search warrant, according to the affidavit.

When they returned a few hours later, they found three explosive devices containing projectiles, which make the explosives "more lethal," in the bedroom, according to an affidavit.

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According to inventories from search warrants, police collected various items, including multiple rounds of ammunition, about 500 .454 caliber lead balls, a bulletproof vest, handheld radios, a Coleman propane tank, a scope, a silencer, an Uberti BPI handgun, an air pistol and rifle, a hoax bomb, road flares and an acetone bottle.

They also found a "go bag," which police said "is used by individuals who need to leave the area in an expedited manner and have supplies in the bag to assist them."

Cutter's girlfriend told police he "watched on YouTube how to load black powder," leading police to believe he "used the internet to learn how to build the explosive devices discovered in the residence," according to the affidavit.

Police made a request May 11 for a search warrant for Cutter's electronics, such as computers, hard drives and cellphones, but court records do not show if they have since found anything on the computer.

It's "pretty rare" for Grand Forks police to encounter something like this, Lt. Brett Johnson said.

Police are still unsure why Cutter had these items, Johnson said, and the suspect hasn't been forthcoming with information.

There's not a threat to the public, and police are not investigating anyone else related to this case at this point, he said. The case is ongoing.

Cutter has a $30,000 cash or surety bond, meaning he could either pay the full amount or go through a bondsman. The Grand Forks County Correctional Center said Cutter was no longer in custody there Friday afternoon.

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His next court appearance is 9 a.m. June 13. He is being represented by Rhiannon Lorraine Gorham of Grand Forks.

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