A bomb squad had to be called in from Cumberland County to dispose of a homemade device following a call to a home in northern Sampson County late last week. A woman has been charged in connection with the incident, which remains under investigation, authorities said.
Madison Paige Johnson, 25, of 271 Midway Elementary School Road, Dunn, has been charged with possession of a weapon of mass destruction, possession of a Schedule I controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Johnson was taken into custody at a residence in the 3000 block of Fayetteville Highway (U.S. 13), Dunn. Officers with the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office responded around 8:30 a.m. Friday to a suspicious vehicle at the residence, where reports state a break-in reportedly occurred and a subject was in possession of an improvised explosive device.
Upon arrival, officers discovered the front door of the residence had been forced open and they located a vehicle in the backyard of the residence. The vehicle was running and occupied by two individuals. Deputies detained the two individuals, including Johnson, and obtained consent to search their vehicle.
“During the search, a small amount of heroin and paraphernalia was located inside the vehicle,” said Sheriff’s Lt. Marcus Smith. “Also located inside the vehicle was a homemade pipe bomb.”
Once the pipe bomb was discovered, Smith noted, the location was evacuated and the Cumberland County Bomb Squad was contacted. The bomb squad responded and was able to safely detonate the bomb, according to reports. While there were two subjects inside the vehicle, Johnson was the only one who received charges because she told officers all of the items belonged only to her, Smith said.
“No homeowner could be located to verify the possible break-in and that portion of the investigation is ongoing,” he remarked.
Johnson was placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under $75,000 secured bond.
Managing Editor Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 2587.