A vehicle search following a traffic stop Tuesday night in Cole County led to four homemade pipe bombs, other explosive material and drug paraphernalia being recovered, according to court documents and information from the Cole County Sheriff's Department.
A deputy stopped a 2006 Buick Lacrosse in the 7200 block of Heritage Highway at about 7:50 p.m., according to a probable cause statement.
The deputy said he had noticed the Lacrosse backing out of a driveway in the 5600 block of Heritage Highway at a high speed, "crossing the double yellow center line, almost causing a motor vehicle accident" involving his patrol car.
The deputy turned around, activated his patrol car's emergency lights and stopped the vehicle.
The driver of the car is identified as Charles Michael McBrearety, 39, of Jefferson City. The deputy said McBrearety consented to a search of his person and the vehicle on the grounds that he had left a "known residence where narcotics are used."
Searching a backpack in the front passenger seat of the vehicle turned up a smoking pipe with a white substance in it, and the deputy identified the pipe as of the type often used to smoke methamphetamine.
The deputy also located two homemade explosive devices, "made of metal tubing that had been crimped on the ends and a large fuse coming out of them. McBrearety stated he made them to use at the race track he works at," according to the deputy's statements in the probable cause document.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed that the devices found were indeed homemade pipe bombs that would have detonated if the fuse had been ignited.
McBrearety and his wife consented to a search of their residence. That search allegedly turned up two more "ready to use homemade explosives made in the same fashion as the ones in the vehicle, lengths of metal tubing, bottle rocket-style fire crackers, a length of fuse, 36 feet of detonation cord, two glass smoking pipes and three bat style smoking pipes commonly used for smoking marijuana, a marijuana grinder containing remnants of marijuana, two glass light bulb-style smoking pipes commonly used for smoking methamphetamine and a black digital scale containing a substance on the scale portion," according to the probable cause statement.
Detonating cord — also known as det cord — is a line of explosives encased in an outer textile or plastic jacket. Det cord can be used in mining, quarrying and construction — or in military applications — as a fuse for other explosives or to split or shear materials upon its own detonation, according to industry descriptions of the product.
Charles McBrearety was arrested at about 8:57 p.m. on the scene and transported to the Cole County Jail.
He has been charged with one count of unlawful possession of a weapon — specifically "an explosive weapon, and incendiary material with the purpose to possess an explosive weapon" — and one count of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. The first count is a class D felony, and the drug paraphernalia charge is a class A misdemeanor.
Charles McBrearety posted bond, set at $10,000, and his arraignment is scheduled for June 29, according to online court records.
The Cole County Sheriff's Department is working with the FBI, ATF and the Missouri Highway Patrol Bomb Squad in an ongoing investigation, according to a news release from Cole County Sheriff John Wheeler.