Unusual evidence find temporarily closes courthouse Jan. 2

By Randa Wagner

January 7, 2014

There was a bit of a buzz at the courthouse Thursday when probation department employees discovered an item in their evidence collection marked as dynamite.

The courthouse closed to the public and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office’s Bomb Squad was called in to examine the item which, said Sheriff Steve Brenneman, didn’t look like dynamite but had a fuse and was stored in a plastic bag with a lighter.

The item was determined to be a pipe bomb, of sorts, in a cardboard tube (rather than plastic or metal) and filled with black powder. The item was taken by officers from Franklin County to the the firing range used by the Mt. Gilead Police Department to be destroyed.

“We do not know where the item came from or how long it had been stored in the locker,” said Brenneman. “No one currently working in probation was aware of it. Proper precautions were taken once the item was found.”

He added though it was a pipe bomb of sorts, it was fairly stable and would have needed an ignition or detonation source to go off.