Arrest made in suspicious homemade devices found in New Ellenton

ac_devices

NEW ELLENTON, S.C. (WJBF) -The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in the homemade device investigation.

On Friday around 3:51 p.m. investigators executed a search warrant at 4056 Tropical Lane in New Ellenton, SC.

Preliminary evidence and information obtained during the execution of the search warrant determined that 31-year-old Michael David Barnwell is the suspect responsible for the homemade devices.

Michael Barnwell
Michael Barnwell

 

Investigators arrested Barnwell at his home and transported him to the Aiken County Detention Center.

Investigators are obtaining warrants for 8 counts of Manufacturing, Possession or Use of a Destructive Device. Other charges may be forthcoming as the investigation progresses.

“This arrest is the result of a quick response and the establishment of a Task Force and Unified Command. This Task Force included the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, New Ellenton PD, Aiken Department of Public Safety, SLED, ATF, FBI, New Ellenton Fire Department, and Centerra SRS. We also want to thank the citizens of New Ellenton for their cooperation with the traffic diversion and patience with our investigation,” said Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt.

This is still an ongoing investigation.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest developments in this investigation.  


NEW ELLENTON, S.C. (WJBF) – A number of suspicious fires in Aiken County are under investigation after officers found remains of homemade devices nearby.

Investigators say 5 devices, with the potential to be explosive, have been found in the last week.

Since Thursday, three were found in New Ellenton and more could be out there.

Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt says the devices are made of PVC pipes with a fuse on them. Investigators believe the devices are getting thrown out of a vehicle and ending up in people’s yards.

WJBF NewsChannel 6 spoke with a homeowner whose son is lucky to be alive after he picked one up not knowing what it was.

“My son had a bomb in his hand and threw it…and nothing happened.” Lee Ogden told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

On Thursday, Lee Ogden and her sons were just out enjoying the nice weather when her 7-year-old picked up what he thought was trash.

The mother of two says, a little later she learned on social media that some devices, which could cause an explosion, had been found in her neighborhood.

“So I went ahead and took a couple of pictures and I called my husband,” Ogden said. “He said just to be on the safe side call it in. So, I did and then the cop came and said yes that’s what we’ve been finding.”

Within minutes of her phone call to police, dozens of Aiken County Investigators and the South Carolina Law Enforcement division arrived at Ogden’s home.

“Then you watched them detonate the very thing your child held?” Asked WJBF NewsChannel 6’s Stefany Bornman.

“Yes. That’s when it kind of hit home,” said Ogden.

However, that’s just one of three homemade devices that were found, within a half-mile, in the last 24 hours.

“We received a call in our Dispatch Center of a brush fire. When the fire department got here they noticed two small devices made out of PVC pipes,” Hunt said.

Sheriff Hunt says the devices are similar to ones found at Ogden’s home. Investigators say they believe the devices caused the fire that the New Ellenton Fire Department responded to on Thursday.

The Sheriff says investigators also found traces of the homemade devices at three suspicious fires in Aiken County on Friday.

“There’s potential that there could be more,” Hunt told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

SLED Bomb Techs say the devices could be dangerous to anyone within 300 feet of them.

Still, the Sheriff tells WJBF NewsChannel 6 there’s no immediate threat to the public, but he will have a strong command in the area.

“These things are not to where they are going to blow up a house or anything like that.” Hunt said.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau, the New Ellenton Police Department, the Aiken Department of Public Safety, South Carolina Highway Patrol, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are working together to find out who is behind this.

Investigators are interviewing a person of interest at this time.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest developments in this investigation.  


NEW ELLENTON, S.C. (WJBF) – NewsChannel 6 has learned the homemade devices found at the scene of a brush fire in New Ellenton, are believed to have caused the fire.

On Thursday, the New Ellenton Fire Department responded to Sabra Ave. where they found two devices, made of PVC pipes and a fuse.

Aiken County investigators, SLED, and the ATF are still on the scene of a third device that was found Friday morning, only a half mile away on Cherryvale Avenue.

Sheriff Michael Hunt is getting ready for a presser at 3 p.m. with the latest developments.

Count on us to bring you the latest details in this investigation.


NEW ELLENTON, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken County Investigators are on the scene on a small homemade device that was found at a home on Cherryvale Avenue off Old Whiskey Road in New Ellenton.

This is the third small homemade device that has been found in the last 24 hours.

Sheriff Michael Hunt says the  devices are made of PVC pipes with a fuse in them and can be a danger to anyone within 300 feet of them.

On Thursday, two small homemade devices were found on Sabra Avenue and Old Whiskey Road.

The New Ellenton Fire Department responded to a brush fire and then noticed the devices.

Hunt says last week some others were found near another brush fire.

That makes a total of 5 handmade devices uncovered in Aiken County.

The Sheriff says there is a potential that there may be more are out there.

At this time Aiken County Investigators are working with SLED and the ATF to find out who is behind this.

Captain Eric Abduallah has confirmed to NewsChannel 6 there is no active threat to the public st this time.

Count on us to bring you the latest on this developing story.


NEW ELLENTON, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken County law enforcement and SLED are currently investigating a number of suspicious devices discovered in New Ellenton.

On Thursday, the New Ellenton Fire Department responded to a brush fire at Old Whiskey Road and Sabra Avenue.

Once at the scene they uncovered some suspicious devices. SLED’s bomb squad was dispatched to the area around 12:30 am.

img_2505Captain Abdullah says 2 suspicious devices were found.

At this time, Aiken County investigators do not know exactly what they are. They’ve said that there is no threat to the public at this time.

Captain Abdullah also said investigators are at the scene of another suspicious device near Whiskey Road and Cherryvale Ave.

More information is forthcoming.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s