Federal authorities arrested a 21-year-old convicted felon Wednesday after they found 14 homemade pipe bombs in his bedroom.
Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, acting on a tip when they made the arrest, said there was no direct evidence linking Eric Lord Jeffrey of Santa Ana with eight suspected white supremacists arrested July 15.
ATF agent Jim Adamcik said, however, that Jeffrey has a swastika tattoo on his chest along with the letters "WP," for "white power." He said authorities are investigating whether Jeffrey is linked to those previously arrested.
Federal agents and Los Angeles law enforcement officers arrested eight suspected white supremacists on weapons charges last week, at least one in connection with what authorities said were plots to kill Rodney G. King, to blow up the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles, and to attack prominent African-American and Jewish leaders.
Three of those suspects were from Orange County. Authorities said some belonged to a white supremacist group called the Fourth Reich Skinheads, which was allegedly planning the killings in an attempt to trigger a race war.
One of the suspects arrested last week had allegedly delivered homemade pipe bombs to undercover federal agents.
Detectives also found gunpowder and metal pipes to make other bombs at Jeffrey's home, said Santa Ana police Lt. Bob Helton. Adamcik said police also found books about satanic worship in the home.
Police evacuated several houses surrounding Jeffrey's while the bombs were dismantled. Officials said each of the pipe bombs was strong enough to send fragments flying up to 100 feet.
Jeffrey, who had violated parole and had an outstanding warrant for possession of stolen property, was being held in Los Angeles. Adamcik said it was not immediately clear what felony charges Jeffrey had been convicted on and how much of the sentence he had served.
* RACIST PLOT SUSPECT DENIED BAIL: Chief suspect in alleged violent plots against Rodney King and black leaders is denied bail. B3