Bienenfeld told reporters that his client was not acting maliciously or in concert with any terrorist group. “This is a hobby that got out of control,” Bienenfeld said regarding the collection of weapons. “If you look on the Internet, you can easily find out how to make bombs. If you want to take that up as a hobby, everything can be sold legally. It’s when you put it together that you have a problem. Not everything was put together.”
The attorney further claimed that the majority of the 100-plus handguns and rifles that were seized are antiques that Ringel bought online with the intent to resell them. According to Nassau County police, Ringel does not have a handgun license.
Bienenfeld declined to comment on claims that the authorities also found hundreds of marijuana plants in the Woodmere home, which is owned by Ringel’s elderly parents, Abraham and Ruth Ringel, who were vacationing in Florida while their son stashed the weapons there. Separately, Ringel’s lawyer denied the statement by Assistant District Attorney Christine Geier that Ringel broke into his parents’ home without permission, and he indicated that he may challenge the propriety of the police’s search procedures related to his client’s arrest. “There’s a big issue with how this search was conducted,” Bienenfeld said. “There’s a big issue with whether the search warrant is valid or not.”
According to the police, the arresting officers originally responded to a silent alarm that went off at the home, where they found Ringel in his driveway and asked him for his identification. Following him to the front door so he could retrieve his ID, the officers were overcome by the sharp smell of the marijuana plants. When they spotted a weapon on the floor, they took Ringel into custody.
The police ordered an evacuation of approximately twenty homes in the neighborhood for several hours and obtained a search warrant, which enabled them to discover the arsenal of weapons, said Nassau County Police Chief Steven Skrynecki. Detailing their shocking find, the police said they removed from the Woodmere home fifty pounds of ingredients for making explosives, including ammonium nitrate, fuel oil, peroxide, sodium nitrate and citric acid. They also found approximately 100 handguns, long rifles, pipe bombs and hand grenades in various rooms around the home. “We view Mr. Ringel as a tremendous threat to society,” Skrynecki said.
Bienenfeld stated that Ringel assisted the FBI and other law enforcement officials following his arrest.“When the FBI told him that they’re going to go in and dismantle some of this equipment, we then cooperated with the FBI right then and there and said ‘nothing there you have to be worried about’,” Bienenfeld said. “We told them, ‘Do not pull any pins. Do not do anything stupid and everything will be fine’.”
Court records show that Ringel was arrested in Provo, Utah, in 2005 on a charge of violating an order of protection. He was also convicted on a disorderly conduct charge in Verde Valley, Arizona, in 2002.