http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/breaking_news/15757553.htm FORT LAUDERDALE Soldier charged over arsenal Federal agents arrested a Fort Lauderdale soldier on weapons charges after they found caches of stolen weaponry and explosives. BY TRENTON DANIEL [email protected] Federal air marshal and Army Sgt. 1st Class David Kellerman was planning to take a few items with him on the way home to South Florida from Afghanistan: 11 grenades, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, about 33 pounds of C-4 plastic explosives, a couple of assault rifles, a shotgun, a machine gun and more. The high-powered weapons were dismantled and hidden inside various bags and equipment. But U.S. Army inspectors found them before Kellerman left Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. That search, two months ago, led to additional searches in Broward County -- and the discovery of other caches of weapons, according to a federal criminal complaint. On Friday, Kellerman, of Fort Lauderdale, was charged with unlawful possession of firearms and other weapons-related charges, according to a criminal complaint unsealed by the U.S. District Court. Kellerman told Army investigators he took apart the weapons as an experiment to see how easily they could be packed into hiding places -- all part of his civilian job as a federal air marshal. But he said he didn't intend to bring them back to the United States. Kellerman, 44, was arrested Friday morning in Raleigh, N.C., said Alicia Valle, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in South Florida. He later appeared in court with the Eastern District of North Carolina. The case will be transferred to South Florida, said Jane Pearce, an assistant federal public defender who represented him there. The federal criminal complaint against Kellerman describes a series of searches: In Afghanistan, inspectors discovered the weapons and explosives, ''elaborately hidden'' inside a laminating machine, a DVD/VHS player, a computer bag and U.S. Army portable-food bags. Kellerman, who was with the U.S. Army 20th Special Forces Group, told U.S. Army investigators that he had ''experimented with seeing how much explosives and weapons could be hidden in innocuous items (such as DVD and VHS players, folding cots, [military-meal kits] bags, etc.),'' according to the complaint. A firearms instructor for the Federal Air Marshal, Kellerman had earlier bragged that he stored weapons in his Fort Lauderdale home, and that ''he could do anything he wanted when it came to weapons,'' the complaint says. Agents suspected that Kellerman may have stolen and moved government-owned arms during a prior deployment in Afghanistan from September 2003 to June 2004. BACKGROUND CHECKED A background check showed he ran two companies, Maritime Security Service and Special Ops Associates, the complaint says. He lived on a 52-foot yacht, had a storage warehouse in Deerfield Beach, and had been arrested twice, but not convicted. Inside the warehouse, investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives found 20 feet of military detonator cord, three military smoke grenades, 16,500 rounds of .357 caliber ammunition bearing a U.S. government seal and what appeared to be a twin-barrel aircraft machine gun. Investigators then moved on to Kellerman's yacht, the R/V 18 Bravo -- military code for a special forces weapons sergeant -- docked behind an apartment complex in Fort Lauderdale. Inside: more weapons and explosives. Kellerman's son, Lee, later led investigators to another warehouse in Dania Beach. There investigators discovered two machine guns, a Bulgarian AK-47 automatic assault rifle, two weapon silencers, and more ammunition, the complaint says. Lee Kellerman couldn't be reached for comment Friday. CAUGHT OFF GUARD The arrest of David Kellerman caught an acquaintance off guard. ''He never mentioned anything to me about weapons,'' said Steve Brust, the property manager who collects Kellerman's $600-per-month rent for his boat slip. Kellerman's companies promise sophisticated security services. According to Maritime Security Service's website, maritimesecuritycom, it is one of a few firms with sea security experience. Ammunition at the Deerfield Beach warehouse was the property of the Federal Air Marshal Service, the complaint states. Other ammo came from several shipments to air marshals between May and November, 2002. Kellerman didn't register some of the weapons and accessories under his name as required by law, according to the complaint. Once a Palm Beach County resident, Kellerman was charged with dealing in stolen property and carrying a concealed weapon, but never convicted, records show. Miami Herald staff writer Jennifer Lebovich and WFOR-CBS4 investigative reporter Brian Andrews contributed to this report.