• Search continues for missing explosives

    By Matt Masters -

    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents continue to search for missing explosive boosters that were possibly stolen from a construction site in Mt. Juliet nearly two weeks ago. 

    Hermitage Explosives in Nashville supplied the explosive boosters that remain unaccounted for at a construction site near the Under Armour distribution center in Mt. Juliet. 

    A representative with Hermitage Explosives confirmed it supplied Jones Brothers Contractors with the explosive boosters, but said there’s no indication any error was made on their part. 

    Special Agent Michael Knight with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was not able to confirm where, if any, clerical error happened. Knight said the “ATF is still reviewing all the circumstances surrounding the explosives-related incident.” 

    Knight previously said there was no known threat to the public, but if anyone sees or comes into contact with such a device to call 911 immediately and clear the area, as they are volatile devices.

    Explosive boosters are sensitive explosive charges that act as a bridge between the detonator and low-sensitive, high-energy explosives such as dynamite.

    Explosive boosters are commercial products available to the blasting industry who a hold federal explosive license. Federal explosive license holders have 24 hours to report any missing or unaccounted for products that they take an inventory of every day. 

    John VanMole, a spokesperson for Jones Brothers Contractors, said while the company doesn’t believe any of its products were stolen, they are working with authorities and treating it as a precaution until they can verify the error.

    “We’ve got no reason to expect that some big theft of explosives has happened. The speculation is that it’s probably more of a paperwork error more than anything else, but obviously they’re going to check it out and make sure that’s what it is,” VanMole said.

    Mt. Juliet police detectives called ATF agents to assist in the investigation at a large construction site off Volunteer Boulevard on Athlete’s Way near the Under Armour distribution center.

    Mt. Juliet police Capt. Tyler Chandler said the investigation was treated as a theft investigation until it could be proven otherwise with a documentation audit. He said the explosive booster charges went missing at some point during the workday.

    Chandler said the boosters are used during the excavation process.

    “It is our goal to locate the missing explosives and determine how they went missing,” Chandler said. “This will also include an in-depth review of paperwork to determine if a theft actually occurred.”

    Anyone with information about the missing explosives is asked to call Mt. Juliet police at 615-754-TIPS or at mjpd.org.

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