Authorities are scrambling to determine the motives and mindframe of a New York-born man arrested after police found a cache of high-powered weapons and a map of Fort Drum in his New Jersey motel room, federal officials said in court Tuesday evening.
Earlier in the day, the FBI maintained that Lloyd Woodson, a former Navy man, had no known terrorism link. But after the 43-year-old faced local charges in a Somerset County courtroom this morning, Woodson was charged with additional weapons offenses in federal court this evening -- charges that may buy the feds more time as they investigate.
Prosecutors said when he was arrested he was wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a semiautomatic rifle. They said they found a cache of weapons in his motel room, including rifles, a grenade launcher and a night vision scope.
His last known address was Reston, Va. But the New York-born man appears to have a string of former addresses in Brooklyn and Queens, as well as Maryland, prosecutors said.
Court papers do not say whether he was believed to be planning an attack on Fort Drum or anywhere else. The federal charge is most likely meant to keep Woodson from posting bail -- which is only 10 percent of $75,000 -- before the FBI has a chance to figure out why Woodson had assembled his arsenal, according to a source close to the case.
Appearing in Somerset Superior Court Tuesday, Woodson was charged with two counts of 2nd degree possession of unlicensed assault rifles and a 4th degree of defacing one of the weapons, by scratching off the serial number.
The Navy says he enlisted in 1988, deserted a little over a year later and spent eight years on the run before returning briefly toNavy custody in 1997. He was soon discharged.
The arrest came after a report that the 43-year-old was acting suspiciously in a convenience store before dawn in Branchburg, N.J.
According to court papers, when police arrived, a patrolman saw Woodson acting "extremely nervous" and asked if he was ok.
He responded, "I'm getting some food for my kids," the papers said. He fled a moment later. Police started canvassing the trailer park next door.
They found him lying in bushes. When they ordered him to show his hands, they said, he ran off again. Two officers tackled him and used pepper spray to subdue him.
By late Tuesday, more details were emerging about Woodson's life. In 2008, Woodson's wife, Tracey Everett, sought a protective order against him in Forestville, Md. In court papers, she said he deserted her and her children months earlier and described a confrontation outside their Forestville home in which "he responded by saying if I did not let him back in I would be sorry."
In a telephone interview Tuesday, Everett said that she does not believe Woodson was going to hurt her, or that he would hurt anyone.
"He's just a loner. He just needs psychological counseling," she said.
Everett said she has not spoken to her estranged husband in more than a year and had tried unsuccessfully to find him to serve divorce papers. She said he kept guns in their townhouse _ but only because he was a collector.
"He never put his hands on me,'' she said. ``He's not that type of person."