On March 21st , 2016 a concerned citizen phoned the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office to report a find of what he believed to be unexploded dynamite at a site where a cleanup and demolition operation was being done at an old mechanic shop on Old Ranger Road just outside the town limits of Murphy. Deputies responded to the scene and found what appeared to be an abandoned box of the explosive Powerditch 1000, which is commonly used in avalanche control. The box of abandoned explosives had been discovered when a worker was moving debris.
The scene was secured and decision was made to not move the Powerditch until the Asheville Police Department’s Bomb Squad could respond. Once the bomb squad arrived, they detonated the Powerditch without incident. Murphy Fire Department assisted by providing fire apparatus.
Sheriff Palmer stated, “We appreciate this aware citizen who immediately reported what he felt was a dangerous situation. We are thankful for Asheville Police Department and the Murphy Fire Department. I want to point out that at no time was there any additional danger to the community or people that lived near the site. Had there been we would have taken the necessary steps to evacuate to a safe area.”
Sheriff Palmer encourages any one that has information on this crime or any other to report it. To report crime in Cherokee County you can call the anonymous tip line at 828-837-1344 or email a tip at email@example.com or call 911 if you observe a crime in progress.