A former housemate of Anthony Corraro, worried about the materials in the house and concerned that Corraro was unstable due to drug use, tipped off authorities about the arsenal last month, said Christopher Decker, an assistant Monmouth County prosecutor.
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'What if these materials were not discovered?'' Decker said at a detention hearing for Corraro. "What if this individual didn't step up to law-enforcement? What if?
"Given the nature of the charges, given the climate we live in, given what we know about him (Corraro), it would be a danger to society, knowing what we know, to release him with these charges pending,'' Decker said.
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With that, Superior Court Judge Joseph W. Oxley ordered Corraro, 49, to be held in jail without bail to face trial on multiple charges, including attempted possession of explosives for an unlawful purpose, possession of destructive devices, possession of firearm silencers, and possession of body-piercing ammunition.
Oxley noted that Corraro also has drug and weapons charges pending in Middlesex County and that he violated terms of his bail there that required him to surrender all firearms and his firearms purchaser's identification card.
Information from Corraro's former housemate, which Decker identified by the initials D.T., led authorities to Corraro's house on Route 33 in Freehold, where the materials were found and seized by authorities on Sept. 16, Decker said.
"He was extremely concerned about these materials in a home he formerly lived in with Mr. Corraro,'' Decker said of the former housemate. Because of drug use, the housemate was "fearful of what Mr. Corraro was capable of.''
When authorities conducted a search at Corraro's home, "there was a bevy of materials capable of causing serious damage to a location,'' Decker said. They included the chemical compound ammonium nitrate and oxidizers, which are needed to burn fuel, according to Decker.
There also were pipes, fuses, flammable liquids, and "books containing instructions how to make bombs,'' Decker said. Also found in Corraro's house were six long guns, 10 handguns, a homemade flamethrower, and thousands of rounds of ammunition, including hollow-nosed bullets and armor-piercing cartridges, authorities said.
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Decker said the seized items were "too numerous to list.'' He added they "couldn't even be kept in an evidence vault because of what they're capable of.'' Decker said the former housemate, concerned about the materials being in the house, asked Corraro to get rid of them, but he wouldn't, so he went to the authorities.
"He feared this man, and he feared the devices he possessed,'' Decker said.
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Corraro, short and stocky, with a shaved head, moustache and goatee, sat facing the judge and away from the courtroom gallery during most of the hearing. His attorney, Michael Grasso, said there were various tenants in and out of Corraro's house, so the state will be hard-pressed to prove the seized materials belonged to Corraro.
Grasso asked Oxley to release Corraro and place him on electronic monitoring to await trial, saying he is the sole provider for his household, which includes a fiancee awaiting a hip replacement.
Grasso also said the state's informant is a convicted felon whose house on Ford Road in Howell also was searched and found to contain weapons. Authorities raided that house on Sept. 16, prior to Corraro's, and found numerous firearms, ammunition and marijuana, they said. Arrested there were brothers David Tash, 53, and Christopher Tash, 49, who were charged with possessing firearms as convicted felons, possession of armor-penetrating bullets, and possession of a large-capacity magazine. David Tash also was charged with possession of more than 500 grams of marijuana.
The Tash brothers were released from custody to await trial.
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