WVa man accused of possessing fake explosive devices

August 22, 2022 GMT

A West Virginia man was arrested on several felony charges Monday after police said he claimed to have explosive devices at a federal building and a church.

The devices turned out to be fake, but James Dean Fowler, 50, of Bluefield, faces two counts of possession or use of a hoax bomb in the commission of a felony, one count of false reports concerning bombs or explosive devices, and two counts of threats of terrorist acts, Police Chief Dennis Dillow said at a news conference.

Dillow said U.S. marshals at the federal building in Bluefield indicated Fowler wanted to speak to someone about national security and indicated he had an explosive device. The device was dismantled with a police explosive and was determined to be fake. An X-ray showed another placed at the church contained no explosives.

A search of Fowler’s nearby apartment turned up no devices, Dillow said.

Fowler was scheduled to be arraigned later Monday. It wasn’t immediately known whether he has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.