Explosive device uncovered during financial fraud investigation in Avery County


AVERY COUNTY, N.C. (WJHL) — A former employee of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games was arrested on possession of explosive device charges, according to a press release from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) on Thursday.

Police arrested Thomas Dewey Taylor Jr., 43, after a financial fraud investigation led to another discovery, the release said.

According to a statement from state investigators, the agency had been investigating Taylor after receiving reports of financial fraud involving embezzlement and credit cards. Agents uncovered an improvised explosive device (IED) during their search.

The discovery of the explosive device sparked a joint investigation that included the SBI, Avery County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and local emergency services.

The statement added that after consulting with District Attorney Seth Banks, Taylor was arrested on charges of three counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a weapon of mass destruction.

Taylor is currently being held in the Avery County Jail on a secured $500,000 bond.

The investigation is ongoing.

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