Mailbox sparkler bomb found

Published 1:11 am Sunday, June 27, 2010

Three law enforcement agencies responded to a call of a device in a mailbox in the North Hill Subdivision Friday afternoon.

After the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department received a call concerning an unusual object in a mailbox, deputies and investigators responded to check it out. Once it was determined possibly to be an explosive device agents with ATF were called in as a precautionary measure. The ATF agents called in the Biloxi Police Department’s Bomb Squad, said Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Donnie Saucier.

Saucier said the object was about six inches long, about an inch in diameter and wrapped in electrical tape.

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Biloxi Bomb Squad Commander John Campbell and his crew arrived, sent in a robot to retrieve the device, and upon inspection, it was determined to be a sparkler bomb. Sparkler bombs are typically a number of sparklers grouped together in a tight package and wrapped up with some sort of strong tape.

Campbell said the devices are extremely dangerous, especially for the people who make them, which are usually juveniles. The biggest danger is there is a chance that the devices can explode while being constructed. Campbell said he has been to one scene where a person was accidentally killed while making an explosive device.

Friday’s incident violated not only state laws, but federal laws since it dealt with a mailbox. Campbell said an investigation into who made the device will take place and fingerprints from the tape will be used to identify the suspect. Once identified, the suspect will be prosecuted, Campbell said.

Saucier said the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department appreciates ATF and the Biloxi Bomb Squad for their assistance with the incident.

“We know when we need them, they will come,” Saucier said.