Explosive material, moonshine found during drug bust in Maggie Valley, NC

Jacob Carver (L), Keith Moore (C), Michelle Vance (R)

MAGGIE VALLEY, N.C. — Maggie Valley police discovered something unusual and potentially dangerous while making a drug bust.

They arrested 28-year-old Jacob Carver, of Canton, and 45-year-old Keith Moore, of Waynesville, in the Ghost Town parking lot and charged them with felony possession of methamphetamine. Michelle Vance, 26, of Canton, is charged with simple possession of a Schedule IV substance. All three are also charged with possession of homemade corn liquor.

During the arrest Thursday, officers discovered a suspicious material in Carver’s pickup truck.

“Finally come out and said it was an explosive material, and that’s when we stepped back, made a perimeter to keep people away,” Police Chief Russell Gilliland said.

Gilliland said the material had a putty-like consistency and just didn’t look right.

“He told us that he was wanting to use it for blowing stumps out of the ground,” the chief said.

That raised suspicions for Gilliland, as well as residents.

“That’s bad … that’s bad,” Jerry Donahoe said.

Gilliland contacted the SBI, which sent a bomb disposal team from Hickory. The team confirmed it was explosive material. The material was safely detonated in the parking lot, after a short section of Highway 19 was briefly closed.

“Pretty good little blast. More than I thought it would be,” Gilliland said.

No charges related to the explosive material have been filed since there was no ignition source. Gilliland said, if there had been, the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco would have been involved.

“If there had been, then it would have been different. They would have come down, and there could have very well have been some federal charges out of this,” he said.

Maggie Valley police have notified surrounding law enforcement about this type of explosive material showing up to make them aware. They also ask residents to give them a call if they come across any suspicious material that might appear to be explosive.