Bomb, meth lab found in Gantt

Published 1:40 am Saturday, September 6, 2008

Two Gantt residents were behind bars late Friday night after Drug Task Force agents not only located an active methamphetamine lab but also a live bomb in the couple’s Pier 7 Road home.

Sgt. Ray Dixon of the DTF said William Travis Cowart and Brenda Craig are currently being held on charges of manufacturing and possessing an explosive device.

Dixon said agents were acting on information gathered about the suspected drug activity at Cowart’s home.

“Those two people are in custody,” Dixon said. “It has been a crazy night for everyone involved. When we got inside the house, we located a manmade explosive device, more than 50 handguns and a meth lab. We were able to seize an amount of finished meth, as well as an unknown quantity of bi-layered liquid.

“We also found assault rifles, all sorts of handguns,” he said. “The bomb was a homemade improvised explosive device that basically consisted of a jar filled with gunpowder and live ammunition.

“It would have operated like a handheld grenade,” he said. “Instead of throwing out pieces of shrapnel, this device would have thrown out bullets.”

Dixon said the bomb was wired with an electronic fuse device.

“What Cowart told us was that he downloaded a terrorist handbook off the Internet and that was how he knew how to make the bomb,” he said.

Agents were required to seek the assistance of Andalusia Police Department’s explosives technician, as well as Dothan’s bomb squad, to dispose of the device.

At midnight, technicians were working to detonate the device in the safest manner possible.

Dixon said Covington County Sheriff’s posse members would be posted throughout the night so that DTF agents may begin to search the residence in daylight.

Cowart was out on bond on drug related charges. Dixon said both Craig and Cowart are expected to face additional charges stemming from both the night’s events and their suspected drug activity. Both were being held without bond.

DTF agents were assisted by the APD, the Dothan DOD, the CCSO and Sheriff’s Posse, the Alabama Beverage Control Board, Probation and Parole, Gantt Volunteer Fire Department, Gantt Police Department and Advanced EMS.