The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday May 20th

Hillsborough police find explosive device, make two arrests

Hillsborough police arrested two people Thursday morning after finding an explosive device in their vehicle, the department wrote in a statement. 

Jimmy Ray Poythress, 33, of Wilson county and Brandy Renee Benson, 30, of Johnston County were sleeping in a 2002 Dodge Caravan parked near the Walmart Supercenter on Hampton Pointe Boulevard when an officer drove by and noticed the car's door was open. 

A police search revealed Poythress had "several" orders for arrest in Wilson and Duplin counties, the statement said. Police found drug paraphernalia and a homemade explosive device inside a bag in the car. 

The Durham County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad deemed the device harmless, and soon after the scene was cleared. No one was injured. 

“At this point, it appears these people had stopped while traveling through our area,” Hillsborough Chief Duane Hampton said. “We have not linked them to any activity in our area but are sharing the information with other jurisdictions.”

Poythress was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a weapon of mass destruction. Benson also faces a charge for possession of a weapon of mass destruction. Both are being held at the Orange County Jail with  $117,000 and $25,000 bonds, respectively. 

Kate Karstens contributed reporting. 

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