Williamston man charged in suspected bomb incident

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A Williamston man has been charged with improper storage of hazardous materials in connection with an incident on July 4th that resulted in the Anderson County Bomb Squad being called in.

According to reports,  while investigating an incident involving malicious damage to a vehicle on July 4, the complainant, Crystal Lee Smith, stated to Officer Hawkins that there was a stick of dynamite on the front porch. According to reports, she stated the item was placed in her house by her boyfriend and was on the kitchen counter in a red vase. Being unsure of what it was, she placed it on the front porch.
In his report, Hawkins stated the item resembled dynamite. It was described as a cylindrical tube with a fuse coming out and tied into a half hitch in the middle of the device.
At that time Hawkins was advised to evacuate any residence within 500 ft. and to move the patrol vehicle to the end of Poinsett St., at Green St. The Williamston Fire Department and the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad were called in.
Deputy Rob Gibbing of the ACSO bomb squad arrived and was unsure if the device was a firework or dynamite, He used an x-ray machine for identifying explosives to examine it. Reports state he was able to determine the device was homemade but was unsure of what was inside. It was determined to be safe enough to remove and the device was taken to ACSO for further investigation.

On July 6, it was determined the device contained powder capable of being ignited and bird shot and it was classified as a “destructive device”.

Williamston Police Captain Kevin Marsee reported a background check showed the boyfriend, Joshua Antone had been convicted of violent felonies and is prohibited from owning a firearm. Antone turned himself into the WPD where he stated he and a friend had manufactured the device and their plan was to set it off on July 4th, but due to an altercation with his Smith reference above, he had left the residence before it was set off. He stated he had no intention to create or cause any harm to any other individual with the device. Due to his cooperation, and the device being classified as “a destructive device” he was charged with a city ordinance of improper storage of hazardous materials and was issued a courtesy summons.