North Carolina Man Indicted for Building Bombs With Materials From Family Dollar Store
A North Carolina man has been charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder for plotting to blow up three North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation agents, WSOC-TV, an ABC News affiliate, reported on Wednesday.
Thomas Dewey Taylor, 43, was arrested yesterday on an additional charge of possession of a weapon of mass destruction, Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye told Channel 9.
“We were very, very fortunate here in Avery County that no one was hurt that no one was critically injured,” Frye said. “To me, this was a God thing. He was blessing us greatly.”
Tayor, a former office manager for the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, an annual summer Scottish-themed festival, stands accused of constructing an improvised explosive device (IED) with ingredients that he purchased at a local Family Dollar store. He also stands accused of embezzlement and credit card theft.
Angie Grube, spokeswoman for the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, said Taylor was suspected of embezzling money and committing financial credit card theft. Grube said an investigation turned up an improvised explosive device with ignitable liquids.
Warrants obtained by Channel 9 said Taylor bought the ingredients, including everything from lighter fluid to a hot plate, at a Family Dollar. The search warrant was for his home in Avery County, where SBI agents went to look for evidence of shrapnel, batteries and combustible liquids.
Taylor’s arrest was connected to an incident at the office in Linville, said Stephen Quillin, president of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. Quillin said Taylor was dismissed as office manager in August.
The sheriff said officials with the Highland Games contacted the sheriff’s office about more than $10,000 missing.
The court documents said three days before finding the explosive device, Quillin met with deputies about the embezzlement case involving Taylor, who at one time worked for the Highland Games.
When they went to the offices several days later, workers found the power cut off. An SBI agent also found ‘multiple pyrotechnics with fuses connected to a hot plate which was plugged into a power outlet in the closet.’
The SBI agent later found a hot plate at the Family Dollar where the store said they sold three cans of lighter fluid to Taylor.
Channel 9 learned that the embezzlement involved as much as $20,000. Taylor has not been charged in connection with the missing money, but deputies said he is a person of interest.
Nearby businesses were forced to shut down for safety reasons.
Taylor was apprehended in late September.
“The SBI was notified that a former Grandfather Mountain Highland Games employee was suspected of embezzling money/committing financial credit card theft. Upon further investigation after an agent responded, an improvised explosive device with ignitable liquids was/were located, initiating a multi-agency response which included the SBI, the Avery County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and local emergency services. The items were properly and safely disposed of,” North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Public Information Director Anjanette Grube said in a statement. “After consultation with District Attorney Seth Banks, Thomas Dewey Taylor Jr. was identified as a suspect and was subsequently arrested. The investigation remains ongoing. No additional information is available.”