Arrests Made in North Carolina Attack on FBI

Domestic Terrorism

More than a year after large-caliber bullets came crashing into the North Carolina headquarters of the Southeast Bomb Task Force, authorities arrested two local men and accused them of trying to kill on-duty FBI agents.

In a federal indictment handed down March 6, a grand jury charged Eddie Dewayne Carringer, 31, of Hayesville, and Wayne Henry Burchfield, 36, of Murphy, with firing shots from a high-powered Chinese SKS assault rifle into the metal building housing the task force. Federal agents were using the building as a base in their fruitless search for accused clinic bomber Eric Rudolph.

Eight 7.62-caliber bullets were fired in the Nov. 11, 1998, attack, and two of them penetrated the task force's headquarters building. One of those shots actually passed through the hair of FBI agent Robert Jones Rolen, who cheated death because he happened to lean over a desk. "Rolen ran his fingers through his hair and discovered a large amount of his hair had been singed," the complaint said.

In addition to attempted murder, Carringer and Burchfield were charged with interfering with a U.S. agent in the performance of his official duties, carrying and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, and conspiracy. If convicted, both men face up to 80 years in prison and as much as $1 million in fines.

Many area residents have expressed disdain for the FBI and at least some support for Rudolph, who remains a fugitive. Rudolph has been charged with fatal bombings at a Birmingham, Ala., abortion clinic and Atlanta's 1996 Olympics. But U.S. Attorney Mark Calloway says no evidence links Carringer or Burchfield to Rudolph.