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Investigation into bomb found in Victoria home ongoing

By chirst
Sept. 20, 2012 at 4:20 a.m.
Updated Sept. 21, 2012 at 4:21 a.m.

Nathan Paul Hunt

Two Victoria men were arrested on theft charges Tuesday night, leading to the discovery of a pipe bomb in a home Wednesday afternoon.

Nathan Paul Hunt, 30, and Shane Dallas Curlee, 28, were charged with theft of property and tampering with identification numbers after a traffic stop at 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to the arrest reports.

After pulling over the two men on suspicion of driving on the shoulder and throwing out a lit cigarette, the Victoria County Sheriff's Office deputy spotted portable radios in the vehicle. After checking, the deputy found the serial numbers matched radios stolen from the Raisin Volunteer Fire Department.

Deputies then found the pipe bomb at a home in the 500 block of Neal Drive at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday as they were investigating the theft, said Chief Deputy Terry Simons.

Though the deputies weren't expecting to find a bomb, Simons said he was proud of how they reacted.

"That is part of what we train for," Simons said. "We want officers to be able to recognize and identify, which is exactly what happened. The officer saw it and said, 'Stop' and got everyone out of the house and called the bomb squad, because that is the only way to safely and professionally deal with it."

Simons said they believe the pipe bomb was homemade, which often makes them even more dangerous because deputies could not know how it was made or what mistakes or traps the builders could have made when they constructed it.

After the Corpus Christi Police Department bomb squad removed the device from the home, by about 9:30 p.m., they transported it to Corpus Christi in a containment vessel. There, the pipe bomb will be analyzed forensically by a specialized team.

Simons said no arrests have been made regarding the device, but the investigation is ongoing.

"We are continuing to conduct the investigation," he said. "We are diligently working on it."

He said they do not yet know what the device was planned for, if anything.

"A professional law enforcement agency has to think counter-terrorism," Simons said. "Was this intended for a terrorist attack? We don't know. Could it have been utilized for one? Easily."

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