JEFFERSONVILLE — A Jeffersonville man arrested with a car full of weapons in California early Sunday, June 12, is now the subject of an FBI investigation.
Agents and police were at James Howell’s home for several hours Monday night.
Many items were taken from the home by the agents.
Howell is also facing additional charges in Clark County and across the river in Louisville.
Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull called it “a serious situation.” Mull is seeking an arrest warrant to have James Howell, 20, extradited back to Indiana for violating his probation.
In April, Howell pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor intimidation charge. It was related to an incident in October where he was arrested for pointing a gun at another person.
As part of his plea deal, he was sentenced probation for one year. He agreed to forfeit his weapons while on probation and not leave the state without notifying his probation officer.
Mull said he will ask to have Howell’s probation revoked and have him sent to jail.
Howell is currently being held in the Los Angeles County jail on $500,000 bond with his first court appearance set for Tuesday, June 14.
He was arrested in Santa Monica early Sunday morning after a resident reported a suspicious activity, a man knocking on his door and window.
When police arrived, they found him sitting in his car with three assault weapons, ammo and materials to make explosives. Asked why he was in California, Howell said he was going to Sunday’s Gay Pride parade in West Hollywood with a friend. At last report, police were still trying to track down Howell’s friend and sort out why he had all the weapons.
Mull said the only other previous charge Howell had in Clark County involved illegal consumption of alcohol.
“Our office did not have a lot of contact with Mr. Howell prior to the (intimidation) charge,” he said. “There was nothing in his background that put him on the radar as someone who had criminal history or was particularly dangerous.”
But Howell is also facing charges in Jefferson County, Kentucky with the prosecutor now moving to revoke or increase Howell’s bond. He was charged with evading police, speeding and reckless driving stemming from an incident in February.
Court documents say Howell “operated his motor vehicle at an excessive rate of speed and in a reckless manner, fled a police officer in his motor vehicle and injured a police officer in the course of leaving the scene.”
Howell is accused of going 103 mph in a 55 mph zone along northbound Interstate 71. Court papers indicate after Howell pulled over and the officer went around to the driver’s side and opened Howell’s vehicle, Howell “left the scene at a high rate of speed, causing minor injury to the officer’s left hand.”
Howell was in the same 2004 Acura he was driving in California. His court date was set for July 5.
Back in the Jeffersonville neighborhood where Howell had lived with his parents, several residents declined to talk, apparently weary of all coverage. One homeowner posted a sign that read, “News reporters, we are not interested in commenting! Thank you!”
Contacted by phone, Howell’s father, Frank, referred all questions to his attorney. As of early Monday evening, the attorney had not returned a call.