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Arrest made in the 2017 Cedar Creek bombing attempt

cedar creek

Federal authorities announced in a news release that an arrest has been made in the attempted bombing of a 2017 reenactment at Cedar Creek.

Authorities have arrested and indicted Gerald Leonard Drake of Winchester for mailing threatening letters, stalking, and planting a pipe bomb at the Cedar Creek Battlefield during a Civil War reenactment in October 2017.

Drake is accused of sending letters to victims and newspapers claiming to be a member of Antifa and threatening harm that included references to the Unite the Right riot in Charlottesville.

The 63-year-old Drake was arrested yesterday and charged with 15 criminal offenses including mailing threatening communications, malicious use of explosives, possession of an unregistered destructive device.

The Winchester man is also charged with unlawful manufacturing a destructive device, use of explosives to commit a federal felony and stalking.

Drake belonged to a reenactment unit that participated in the annual reenactment at Cedar Creek Battlefield until he was removed from his unit in 2014 for unspecified reasons.

Drake did continue to work at the reenactment events as a volunteer.

On September 23, 2017 a letter was received by the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation with Antifa insignia and a warning that if the reenactment was not cancelled the trouble that would follow would make the riots in Charlottesville look like a Sunday picnic.

During the afternoon of October 14, 2017, a pipe bomb was discovered in a merchant’s tent.

Frederick County Deputies seized the device and Virginia State Police rendered it safe, but the rest of the weekend activities were cancelled.

The event was cancelled the following year due to continued threatening letters.

That same year the president of the Foundation resigned due to the tension and pressure.

Drake also is accused of sending several similar letters to Gettysburg reenactments and events.

The case continues to be investigated by several agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Virginia State Police.

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