Two Westmoreland men were arrested on Tuesday, October 4, after a City of Lafayette police officer discovered a homemade bomb in their vehicle during a routine traffic stop.
According to patrolman Derrick Gann’s report, 27-year-old Zack Ward and 36-year-old Robert Carter were pulled over near Sunshine Market on Highway 52 for expired tags.
“I immediately observed the passenger having his arm setting on a shotgun,” the report states. “At this time, for my safety, I had both subjects exit the vehicle, and requested backup.”
Suspecting the duo may have more firearms, officer Gann asked for consent to search the vehicle. After Mr. Ward gave his consent, Officer Gann began administering a field sobriety test due to suspicion of possible impairment, while Deputy Tim Freeman began a search of the vehicle.
Officer Gann paused testing at one point to assist Deputy Freeman with the search.
The report reads, “While searching, Deputy Freeman and I came upon a suspicious item that was wrapped in duct tape. As we began to inspect the item, we found that the duct tape was wrapped up over a 45 caliber round, detonator cord and several nails. At this time, Sget. Looper walked over to assist and advised us that we had found an explosive device, and to get away from the vehicle.”
Ward and Carter were then detained and Sergeant Matt Looper advised dispatch that an explosive device had been located and to contact the Tennessee Highway Patrol Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit.
When asked about their intentions for the device, Ward and Carter stated that it was for killing coyotes and that the detonator cord had been found on his property.
Both Ward and Carter were transported to the Macon County Jail, and the EOD unit was escorted to Winding Stairs Park where the device was safely detonated.
Zack Ward was charged with weapon prohibited, possession of a firearm during a violent felony, possession of explosive components, driving under the influence and violation of registration law. His bond is set at $7,150.
Robert Carter was charged with weapon prohibited, possession of firearm during a violent felony, possession of explosive components and public intoxication. His bond was set at $5,750.
Both men are scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on November 9, 2016.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges could be brought forth.