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Officials find arsenal of weapons in New Jersey hotel room

Lloyd R. Woodson at his arraignment Tuesday in Somerset County, New Jersey.
Lloyd R. Woodson at his arraignment Tuesday in Somerset County, New Jersey.
  • FBI on Tuesday said no ties to any terrorist group or specific plot had been found
  • Lloyd R. Woodson, 43, arraigned Tuesday on multiple weapons charges, resisting arrest
  • He was arrested Monday near a store in Branchburg, New Jersey
  • Found in room: Various rifles, grenade launcher, ballistic vest, police scanner, ammunition

(CNN) -- A man arraigned Tuesday on multiple firearms charges had an arsenal of high-powered weapons and a map of U.S. military base in his New Jersey hotel room, authorities said.

Lloyd R. Woodson, 43, has been charged with two counts of unlawful possession of weapons, possessing prohibited weapons, possessing large capacity ammunition magazines, two counts of defaced firearms, obstruction of justice and resisting arrest. Authorities say he has no apparent ties to terrorist activities.

Woodson also is being charged as a convicted felon in possession of firearms, Gregory Reinert, a spokesman for the the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey, said.

Somerset County Judge John Pursel set bail at $75,000, and Woodson is expected to appear in court again by the end of the week.

Woodson appeared angry and withdrawn in court, according to CNN's Deb Feyerick, who attended the arraignment. His hands and feet were shackled and he was escorted by two guards. Woodson kept his head down and barely acknowledged the judge, except for responding "yes" when asked if he understood English.

Woodson, of Virginia, was arrested Monday after police responded to a call about a suspicious man in the Quick Chek convenience store in Branchburg, New Jersey, said local prosecutor Wayne J. Forrest.

Video: No terror link to weapons bust
  • Terrorism
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  • New Jersey

The suspect was in possession of an automatic .223 rifle converted to a .50 caliber rifle with a laser sight; five customized magazines, each fully loaded with hollow-point .50-caliber rounds and a military bulletproof vest when he was taken into custody, the New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC) said.

At his hotel room, investigators found a Bushmaster .308-caliber semiautomatic rifle with a defaced serial number, a rifle-mounted night vision scope, a 37 mm Cobray grenade launcher, a ballistic vest, a police scanner, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, military pouches and garrison equipment, and a detailed map of Fort Drum, an Army post in upstate New York.

Earlier, Forrest said authorities had also found a Middle Eastern-style headdress, but no such item was mentioned in ROIC's statement or in an FBI agent's affidavit.

Woodson waived his rights, according to the affidavit, and told investigators that all the weaponry was his, that he'd bought the guns on the streets of New York and that he had "obliterated" the serial numbers.

He has a prior conviction for criminal possession of a weapon from Kings County (New York) Superior Court in 1997.

The ROIC statement also said Woodson "expressed anti-law enforcement sentiments" stemming from run-in with police regarding domestic disputes. He has no ties to organized groups, the statement said, echoing what federal agents said earlier in the day.

Michael Murphy, the senior vice president of Quick Chek, said the employee who called 911 "prevented a bad situation and possible tragedy down the road."

The company is protecting her identity for safety reasons, he said.

Murphy said Woodson did not buy anything in the store and may have drawn suspicion because he looked like he wanted to shoplift.

When officers arrived, Woodson ran into the woods but was subdued after wrestling with officers, Forrest's statement said.

Preliminary findings indicate that Woodson has no ties to known terrorist groups or a specific terrorism plot, said FBI Special Agent Bryan L. Travers in a statement Tuesday.

Federal investigators from the FBI and ATF are assisting local law enforcement.

Woodson spent a brief time in the Navy, according to U.S. Navy spokesman Lt. Justin Cole. In February 1988, he served on board the USS Orion, a submarine tender, Cole told CNN. He deserted the ship eight months later, Cole said.

Woodson was taken into Navy custody in 1996 and discharged a month afterward, Cole added.

CNN's Deb Feyerich and Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.