A Winder man is being held in the Gwinnett County jail after being charged with possession of an explosive device.
Michael Brewer, 42, of Winder, was one of three passengers in a car driven by Matthew Henry Rothove, 44, of Flowery Branch. Rothove was pulled over by a Gwinnett County police officer on North Price Road in Buford for a routine traffic violation.
During the course of the traffic stop, the officer noticed two suspicious objects in the passenger compartment of the vehicle. Believing the objects to be possible explosive devices, the officer requested that the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team respond to the scene along with fire investigators. The ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) was also called to assist.
These explosive devices were located inside a car in which Michael Brewer of Winder was an occupant.
Upon examination, the EOD team determined the devices were explosives with the potential to cause bodily harm or death.
“These devices posed an extreme threat to the community and we are fortunate to have taken them off the street before someone was severely injured or even killed,” said Captain Tommy Rutledge, spokesman for Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services.
After questioning the vehicle occupants, a search warrant was obtained for a private residence located in the 100 block of Line Street in Buford. A detached apartment currently rented by Brewer was also included in the search warrant. During the search, fire investigators and police SWAT officers located additional items which could be used in the manufacture of explosive devices. A fifth individual, Phillip Ray Duncan, 54, of Buford, was inside the residence when authorities arrived.
Rothove, Brewer, Duncan and the two other passengers, William Dale Parten, 41, of Buford and Shirley Maddox, 62, also of Buford, denied having any knowledge of the explosives and implicated each other when questioned by authorities. According to investigators, the intent and motive for manufacturing the devices remains unknown.
All five are facing charges of possession of an explosives device. Two of the five individuals are also facing additional charges. Brewer was charged with illegal possession of Xanax and Maddox had an outstanding warrant for her arrest. All five were booked into the Gwinnett County Jail without incident and are currently being held without bond.