An anonymous tip led Blair police to the home of 57-year-old Paul E. Jipp where police found an arsenal of weapons, ammunition and a marijuana grow operation in his basement.
Jipp was arrested Monday afternoon at his home located at 2107 Lincoln St., after Blair police and agents of the lll CORPS Drug Task Force searched the house. Jipp is now facing state and possibly federal charges.
"We received a tip from an anonymous source who said that a subject here in town had a grow operation where he was cultivating marijuana and had weapons in the house,” says Lt. Aaron Barrow from the Blair Police Department.
Barrow says the tip was not enough for a search warrant, so detectives went to Jipp’s home and spoke to Jipp, who admitted to having marijuana and weapons in his home. He denied detectives entry to his home, so they sought a search warrant.
Barrow says Jipp was arrested on charges of possession of a deadly weapon without a permit, manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, and possession of 12 silencers that appeared to be homemade. In total, 14 firearms were located.
"The other thing that our officers discovered were silencers, or surpressors that the weapons have been altered to accept those and it was determined that that was in violation of federal law,” added Barrow.
Included in the arsenal of weapons were multiple pistols, large caliber rifles with optics and shotguns – all were loaded. Police also found that four of the 12 silencers were installed on three of the rifles and on a handgun.
"It's one of those that you go in expecting one thing and you find something else. So you just never know what you're going to find out,” says Barrow.
Barrow says agents also located multiple ballistic vests, hundreds of gallons of water for consumption, a large supply of long term storage food and tens of thousands of ammunition, along with other survival gear.
Neighbors that live on Jipp’s block say they were shocked to learn of Jipp’s arrest.
"I had no idea what was going in there until somebody sent me the article at work today. Kinda shocking, kinda scary - all the guns that he had in there,” says Heather Carlson, who lives four doors down from Jipp.
Others who live close by say he appeared to be a great guy, ‘the absolute sweetest’ and was described as “very intellectual” and “polite.” Neighbors say he kept to himself and tended to his dog and helped neighbors mow their lawn when needed.
"We live in a good neighborhood so yeah, it was just hard to believe,” says Carlson. “I guess you just never really know who you live next to.”