JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Authorities in Jones County discovered possible explosive devices inside a home on Trace Road during a drug raid Friday morning.
According to officials with the Jones County Sheriff's Department, deputies and a 12-member SWAT team searched a home in the 1200 block of Trace Road with warrants for illegal drug activity.
Officials confirmed the discovery of what they believe to be detonated homemade explosive devices inside the home, though no active explosives were found. Two people, a man and a woman, were taken into custody without incident.
Michael Sanchez, 32, is being held on a conspiracy to sell narcotics charge and will make his initial appearance on Sunday. The sheriff's department said additional charges will be filed, including felony possession of a weapon and additional federal crimes. The woman was released, pending findings from a grand jury.
Sheriff Alex Hodge said that several explosive devices had been tested on the site and that they are collecting evidence from as many as five or six detonation sites. The sheriff's department believed they were testing range capabilities of the explosive devices and had included shrapnel in the devices.
Hodge said he believed that there was definite intent to harm and that the explosives were not being made for recreational use. He added that there would have been mass casualties if the devices had been implemented in any public setting.
"He, in my opinion, based on what I know and we may learn it to be different, but I don't think we will, there was an absolute intent to prepare to do somebody harm," Hodge said.
The Jones County Sheriff's Department did not release the material used in the explosives because they were awaiting testing to be conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
"What we do know is that there was devices put together that were made to cause destruction and death, and did have what we believe to have types of shrapnel, different types of shrapnel, contained within that explosive," Major Chief Jamie Tedford said.
According to Tedford, at least six reports of hearing explosions had been reported in the area in the past six months, but there was nothing tying the explosions to that property. At the time, the sheriff's department believed the explosions were the result of Tannerite, a type of exploding target used with firearms.
Hodge credited the recognition of explosive materials to Lt. Robert Little, who had received training in dealing with explosives.
Sheriff's department officials on scene called the raid a "very serious matter" and "potentially deadly situation."
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have been called in to aid in the investigation.
Hodge said that there could be more arrests as the investigation continues.