WASHINGTON, N.C. (WITN) – Deputies with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and the SBI bomb squad have finished searching for explosives at a Washington man’s home.
Cameron Smith was arrested last night after a deputy found him passed out Wednesday night in his SUV at a shopping center parking lot in Washington.
Smith is charged with possession of weapons of mass destruction, possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a concealed handgun. Smith is being held without bond.
Sheriff Scott Hammonds says a deputy saw the man slumped over in a vehicle in the parking lot of the Food Lion on John Small Avenue.
During a search of the vehicle, explosives were found and the Cherry Point EOD team was called in.
Authorities searched the man’s home on Harvey Road which is off of U.S. 264 throughout the day on Thursday. One of the tools the SBI bomb squad used was a remote-controlled robot to search the home.
Late this afternoon, the sheriff told WITN that they have collected over 50 pieces of evidence at the home that are linked to pipe bombs and improvised explosive devices.
Hammonds said they are still trying to find out if Smith is a hobbyist or a radical. With today’s discovery, the sheriff said he is concerned that Smith is a little more than a hobbyist.
Some believe Smith’s actions may’ve been a cry for help.
“If you need help and you’re scared to ask, you’ve got to ask sometime,” said Ethan Asby, Washington resident. “You either going to end up hurting yourself or others.”
“Just to know that it hit so close to home is kind of scary, but at least they have him,” said Cassandra Brickhouse, who’s an employee at Subway located in the Washington Corner Shopping Center.
Hammonds says Smith could be described as a “prepper”, adding that there is no threat to the community. “There’s people that believe that government would come in and interfere their way of life and this is the way they act out to protect themselves,” the sheriff said. “They have these forumated theories and they take that proactive in their mind that they are going to defend what’s theirs.”
The sheriff said in the man’s SUV they found a military-style homemade grenade. ”The shape was round, looked like a ball, a tennis ball with a spoon–the trigger, all that was intact,” said Hammonds.
Also recovered was a World War I or World War II grenade.