A Horseheads man, 43-year-old Michael P. Hilliard, is in custody facing serious charges following a traffic stop in Newfield on Saturday night.
The stop, involving a U-Haul vehicle, was part of an ongoing investigation led by the New York State Police into a case in the Village of Horseheads.
Hilliard has been charged with first-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class B felony, and is currently held at the Chemung County Jail.
The charge is applicable in cases of possession of an explosive substance with intent to use unlawfully or possession of ten or more firearms.
The incident attracted considerable attention on social media.
Following Hilliard’s arrest, the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation executed a search warrant at his residence at 207 South Main Street in Horseheads on Sunday.
During the search, the NYSP Bomb Disposal Unit, Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team, and Forensic Identification Unit discovered several hazardous materials inside the house.
This discovery prompted an evacuation of the immediate surrounding area, with affected residents receiving assistance from the Red Cross and the Horseheads Fire Department.
The case has been active since November 6, originating from a report about a possible explosive found in the town of Veteran.
The investigation involved the State Police Bomb Disposal Unit and the FBI, leading to the identification of a potential suspect. The area around Hilliard’s residence, from East Franklin Street to Broad Street, has been closed to the public, and the FBI is involved in the disposal of the hazards.
The investigation remains active.
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