Officers with the Jones County Sheriff’s Office were set to execute a search warrant on a home for drugs when authorities found homemade explosive devices inside the residence off of Trace Road.
Two suspects were arrested without incident, and in a press conference, Sheriff Alex Hodge shared details of the devices which were made with household items. Hodge said that it was clear that the suspects had been testing explosives and feared that if they were not caught, innocent people could have been harmed.
“We are very fortunate that we were able to interdict what could have been a very, very disastrous and tragic situation,” he said. “We are talking about mass casualties had one of these devices been deployed in any setting.”
It was stated that the tests consisted of measuring the impact of explosives, the range, and other factors in the woods surrounding the house.
Tips had been sent to the department about sounds of explosives in the area, but not from the house specifically. When asked about the possibility of terrorism, Hodge didn’t see why it should be ruled out.
“You’d have to consider that,” Hodge said. “You have to consider what someone’s intent might be.”
As they gather more facts, Hodge says that this situation is concerning for the community.
“If that doesn’t bring chills down your spine, you better wake up. This is serious, serious business in Jones County,” he said.
One of the suspects in custody does have a criminal history. The suspects are being held on drug charges, but new charges will likely comes as a result of the investigation. More arrests are also possible.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will assist in the investigation.
The full press conference can be seen below:
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