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CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS
|CHRISTOPHER G. RIENDEAU
D/O/B: 2/20/69 L/K/A : 337 ROBIN HOOD CIR #202 NAPLES FL 34104
Alias : Rusben Carvajal L/K/L Ten, Mas
July 2, 2007
Valdosta -- Eight pipes bombs, an arsenal of guns and ammunition.
All found in a rented locker of Christopher Riendeau of Naples,
And his tale sounds like something straight out of a movie script.
The latest installment began at 1:30 Monday afternoon, when two
bounty hunters came to Continental Self Storage of Inner Perimeter
Road to collect merchandise from a recently apprehended
Riendeau. "When the bounty hunter did that he found items he
believed were explosives and a significant amount of firearms," says
Commander Brian Childress of the Valdosta Police Department.
Police blocked off the area between Jacey Shack Road and North
Forest Streets and told nearby businesses to evacuate.
And the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Bomb Squad was brought
in to dispose of the active bombs found inside. "We came in and
rendered the bombs safe using robots and other devices," say Chris
Dorsey, a bomb technician with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
This isn't the first time authorities raided property associated with
Riendeau. In May, Deputies in Collier County, Florida raided his
They found a pipe bomb making workshop, inactive hand grenades,
receipts from gun part purchases, books about warfare and multiple
gunscopes. The arsenal found here was just as scary. "I mean
firearms ranging from hand guns to pistols to rifles to machine
guns," Childress adds.
Luckily, Riendeau is behind bars at the Collier County Jail, his
dangerous belongings confiscated. He's expected to face more
state and federal charges in Georgia.
Authorities aren't sure why Riendeau chose to store the weapons in
Valdosta or how or if he planned to use them.
A bounty hunt from hell
Cobra, Tank trek through 16 states in search of man wanted for questioning following East Naples
By CARRIE WISE
Originally published — 7:39 p.m., June 29, 2007
Updated — 11:32 p.m., June 29, 2007
After 37 days and a cross-country hunt, two bondsmen and bounty hunters, known only as Cobra
and Tank, finally caught their fugitive.
Photo by Lexey Swall / Daily News
Bail bondsmen Cobra, left, and Tank, the only names by which they wish to be known,went on a
37-day search to apprehend Christopher Riendeau, the man who was responsible for last month's
East Naples bomb scare.
Christopher Riendeau of East Naples was wanted for failure to appear in court on various drug
charges and for questioning after suspicious materials were found in his apartment, forcing the
evacuation of nearby residents.
"I’m just getting back from a trip from hell," said Cobra, making reference to both a line from the
Molly Hatchett song "Bounty Hunter" and his more than monthlong search for Riendeau.
Cobra, who is a bondsman for The Bail Bonds Firm in Miami, said due to their line of work, they
wouldn’t share their full names — only their nicknames.
The search for Riendeau stands apart from the approximately 8,000 cases Cobra has worked, he
"We have never run into somebody like this," Cobra said. "It seems like this man had some
Cobra and his partner, Tank, brought Riendeau back to Collier County on June 21.
Their hunt for Riendeau began when Cobra stopped by Riendeau’s apartment at 337 Robin Hood
Circle to collect bond payment after Riendeau didn’t appear in court. When Cobra got there,
Riendeau was nowhere to be found, but Cobra said he did find suspicious materials in the
STUDIO 55: Watch video coverage of this story in today's Studio 55 vodcast.
So he notified authorities to come investigate the apartment, Cobra said.
Residents of Robin Hood Circle off Radio Road were forced to evacuate their homes for eight
hours while investigators searched the apartment. Hours later, officials determined the suspicious
materials were inactive, according to Collier County Sheriff’s Office reports.
Meanwhile, the hunt for Riendeau ensued.
Through 16 states, Cobra and Tank searched for Riendeau, piecing together clues along the way.
The first place they followed him was to Rhode Island, where his grandmother lived. Riendeau
had his mail transferred there, but he didn’t stay there long, Cobra said.
"Then we followed his trail back down to Georgia," he said.
Along the way Cobra said he and Tank had believed Riendeau was prepared to defend himself
and that he didn’t want to go to jail. They also speculated Riendeau had been working for the
federal government to help catch people involved in buying and selling drugs.
While Riendeau was on the run, he used several false identifications and passed by state troopers
in his travels, according to Cobra.
"Five state troopers had come across him, but let him go," Cobra said.
Riendeau was using identification of a Naples man named Rusten Carvajal, Cobra said.
Carvajal apparently had lost his wallet, including his U.S. permanent resident card and his driver’s
license, Cobra said.
Riendeau was using Carvajal’s identification, but had cut out the picture and replaced it with his
own, Cobra said.
Along with assuming a false identity, Riendeau periodically obtained ghost phones and changed
his mailing address, Cobra said.
Using cell phone records, Cobra said he was able to figure out who Riendeau was
communicating with while on the road. Based on calls made to Tennessee and Florida
unemployment agencies, Cobra believed Riendeau was trying to collect unemployment.
The hunt continued through Massachusetts, to Texas, then back to Alabama, through the
Carolinas, to Kentucky and finally to Clarksville, Tenn., where they eventually caught up with
him, Cobra said.
Riendeau had set up residency as a Tennessee voter, and then he went to Kentucky and
obtained a driver’s license with his Tennessee address and a false name, Cobra said.
While staying close to his tracks, Cobra noticed Riendeau had developed patterns in his behavior.
For example, he never went back to the same place twice, never stayed more than seven days in
one place and liked to stay near military bases, Cobra said.
In addition, every place Riendeau went, he stayed by a major highway in a second-floor room
facing the highway.
Tank and Cobra both said this is likely because Riendeau wanted a passive overview of a main
road for comfort.
"He really screwed up in Clarksville," Cobra said. "They only had first-floor rooms, and he took a
When Cobra determined for sure where Riendeau was, he called local law enforcement for
"We’d like you guys to back us up," he said he asked, but they declined to come along. "They sat
across the street and just observed."
Because Cobra and Tank believed Riendeau was armed and willing to shoot to kill, they knew
they had to move carefully.
"We blocked in his red Dodge Durango," Cobra said, "and we exploded the door open.
"We were very, very nervous when we hit that door," Cobra said. "When we came in he was naked
in the bed and he lunged for his gun."
Although the weapon was within arm’s reach, Riendeau couldn’t reach his gun while the two 6-
foot men were pinning him down, Cobra said.
"We jumped on him like animals," Cobra said. "He gave up without a fight."
Along with Riendeau, they also seized two loaded guns in the hotel room with him, Cobra said.
"If we’d have given him a second chance, he’d have taken our life," Tank said.
Once they caught Riendeau, they drove about 11 hours back to Collier County, where they turned
him in to the Collier Sheriff’s Office.
Naples jail commander Joe Bastys said he saw Cobra and Tank bring in Riendeau to the Sheriff’s
Office. Occasionally, Bastys sees bondsmen bring in people they think might "skip," but it isn’t
often he sees two bondsmen bring in a fugitive, he said.
And it isn’t often one case takes 37 days for Cobra and Tank.
"In 37 days, my average would probably be 15 arrests," Cobra said.
Following his location and arrest, Riendeau remains jailed without bond, according to the Collier
He is charged with failure to appear in court on April 16 on these charges: nine counts of the sale
of drugs, three counts of trafficking illegal drugs, one count of trafficking cocaine, one count of
possession of 20 grams of marijuana, one count of trafficking of phenethylamine (a psychedelic
substance) and one count of possession of drugs.
He previously was arrested and charged with the various drug counts in May 2005. Riendeau’s
bond was set at $100,000, according to Collier County records.
Their payment for bringing in Riendeau was $20,000, which they split 50-50, Cobra said.
"I told him, if there is a next time, I’m not going after you," Cobra said he told Riendeau after he
and Tank had captured him.
As for the man’s identification Riendeau was using on the run, Cobra and Tank were able to meet
up with Carvajal recently in Naples to return his identification to him, Cobra said.
This was important to Carvajal because he wanted to visit his grandmother in Costa Rica next
month, but he needed identification for his trip, Cobra said.