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Traffic stop leads to bomb discovery
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A routine traffic stop led lawmen to explosive components which could cost a man 12 years in prison.
“There was a blasting cap, three blast simulators, and a surface trip grenade,” said sheriff’s chief deputy Tommy Myers of the discovery made inside the vehicle driven by Emmett M. Beals, 22.
Beals’ Hyundai was pulled over Monday by deputy Billy Joe Crouch on Manchester Highway after the deputy clocked him going 20 mph over the speed limit. During the stop, a drug dog was brought in to do a sweep of the vehicle during which time the dog indicated the presence of something suspicious. Given consent to search, lawmen soon came across the explosive items. The Tennessee Highway Patrol bomb unit disposed of the explosive devices.
During subsequent questioning, Beals claimed he had gotten the items while committing a home burglary. Investigators believe his story about being a burglar since other stolen items were found in his vehicle. It is unclear if the resident from whose home Beals claims to have stolen the explosives will face criminal charges.
Myers said an investigation is ongoing into the Beals burglary spree and who had either made or purchased the illegal explosive devices.
Possessing such explosive components is a Class B felony carrying eight to 12 years in prison.
At present, Beals faces the explosives charges which carry a higher punishment than the burglary charges he may soon face.