Man Charged in N.J. Weapons Case Remains in Custody

A former Virginia man accused of having a cache of weapons and a map of an Army base in his New Jersey motel room appeared briefly in court Friday for the second time this week.

Like the first time, prosecutors were mum on how imminent a threat they believe Lloyd Woodson posed.

During his court appearance, Woodson was assigned a public defender and waived a detention hearing, meaning he will remain in custody.

The only words the 43-year-old Woodson spoke were, "Yes, ma'am," when U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo asked if he wanted a lawyer appointed to represent him. He wore a denim jacket with "SCJ" — for Somerset County Jail — scrawled across the back. His hair was in a high-and-tight military style.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Kogan very briefly laid out a case against letting the 43-year-old Woodson free as his case moves through court: He was carrying weapons and had more in his motel room; he once deserted the military; he has minimal connections to New Jersey, making him more likely to flee; his history with weapons made him a threat; and he said in an interview that he intended to use weapons in furtherance of a crime.

Kogan did not explain what that intent was, and U.S. attorney's office spokesman Greg Reinert said he would not elaborate.

Woodson was arrested Monday after a convenience store clerk in Branchburg called police to report he was acting strangely when he was in the store just before 4 a.m.

Authorities said Woodson fled soon after police arrived. They caught up with him in a nearby parking lot and tackled him. It was only then that police realized he was wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying an assault rifle, authorities said.

Officers found a grenade launcher, more guns and a map of New York's Fort Drum in his motel room, along with ammunition.

Woodson is charged with state and federal weapons violations. A New Jersey state judge on Tuesday set bail for the state charges at $75,000.

The FBI said Woodson has no known terrorist connections.

Prosecutors have said his last known address was Reston, Va., but the New York-born man appears to have a string of former addresses in Brooklyn and Queens, as well as Maryland. The Navy said he enlisted in 1988, deserted a little over a year later and spent eight years on the run before returning briefly to Navy custody in 1997.