Neighbors of 51-year-old Federico Aguilar say he was the last person they'd suspect of criminal activity just hours after he was arrested by Bexar county sheriffs deputies Monday afternoon following a search of his him that uncovered drugs, weapons and improvised explosive devices. Joni Carr, who lives down the block in the 7400 block of Hardesty, had just pulled up to her home shortly after the search began.
"I saw several men get out with their vests and guns and I was quite frightened actually because I had my baby with me," said Carr.
Members of the Bexar county sheriffs narcotics unit executed the search warrant around 2:30 Monday afternoon. They found a large amount of methamphetamine packed for distribution, illegal weapons, body armor and five improvised explosive devices.
The San Antonio police department's bomb squad arrived later along with members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The bomb squad safely detonated the IEDs nearby.
"Wow!" said Carr after hearing the initial blast. "I immediately ran into the house because it was a big boom."
Aguilar's arrest was a big shock to Carr and other longtime neighbors, who called him Fred or Freddy."
He was pretty nice actually," Carr said. "He always said hi and was always working on cars."
"Fred liked to build things," said Richard Ojeda, another neighbor. "I didn't know he was building bombs."
Perhaps most surprised was Ross Gutierrez. He and his family, including three children, moved in next door to Aguilar last May.
"I was shocked," said Gutierrez. "When I saw the news vans, a little too close to home."
Gutierrez said Aguilar was friendly and would often pull his garbage cans back up to his driveway.
"I'm glad they got down to the bottom of whatever he was doing but like I said, he never bothered me," said Gutierrez. "I had no idea this was happening."
Aguiliar faces federal charges for the explosives and illegal weapons. He also faces state charges for the drug possession and intent to deliver.