Albert Lea, MN (KROC-AM News)- Authorities have given the Freeborn County Government Center the all clear after the building was evacuated due to a bomb scare on Friday. 

Read More: Suspected Pipe bomb Leads to Evacuation of Southern Minnesota Courthouse

Freeborn County Sheriff Ryan Shea said the evacuation order was issued shortly after 3 p.m. after Albert Lea Police found a gun lockbox during a traffic stop and arrest.  

The officers took the box from the vehicle, brought it into the government center then found what appeared to be a pipe bomb inside of it. The St. Paul Bomb Squad arrived at the building around 6:25 p.m. and removed the device. 

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Employees were allowed to return to their posts around 6:45 p.m. Freeborn County’s 911 dispatch, which is housed in the government center, was back up and running around 7:05 p.m. 

Shea says dispatchers were moved off site and that 911 calls placed in Freeborn County were re-routed to Mower County during the evacuation. 

Albert Lea PD Shares Details on Events That led to Bomb Scare & Evacuation, ID Suspect

A news release issued by the Albert Lea Police Department says officers attempted to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation at an intersection near I-35 in northeastern Albert Lea. 

The vehicle failed to stop for police but eventually pulled over along Paradise Rd. in the area of first contact with officers, the news release says. 

Albert Lea Police Department photo
Albert Lea Police Department photo

Police identified the driver as 48-year-old Adam Alan Penhollow and arrested him on suspicion of fleeing police and driving after revocation. 

Officers also suspected the Albert Lea man of being under the influence of drugs and initiated a search of the vehicle that led to the discovery of the lockbox, authorities say. 

After obtaining a search warrant, officers opened the box at the government center and found the apparent pipe bomb along with a bag containing suspected drugs, officials say. Officers then obtained and executed a search warrant on Penhollow’s residence. 

Albert Lea Police Department news release
Albert Lea Police Department news release

The news release says Penhollow is being held on suspicion of possession of an explosive device, fleeing in a motor vehicle, fifth-degree possession of methamphetamine, second-degree DUI-test refusal, felon in possession of firearms & ammunition and driving after revocation.

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