Man in custody in connection to Wando Terminal 'dirty bomb' threat

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - United State Coast Guard officials report the man wanted for a false 'dirty bomb' threat made to the Wando Terminal is in police custody in Zanesville, Ohio.

He was arrested on an unrelated charge and is now being questioned by the FBI.

According to investigators, the incident started with a phone call.

"He said there could possibly be a dirty bomb on a vessel coming into port," Port of Charleston Capt. Gregory Stump said.

Stump said he was very specific about four containers on board the vessel in question.

The Wando Terminal was shut down and a safety zone was evacuated.

"I saw on Live 5's website about the bomb scare," nearby resident Nick Caudell said. "You never really think something like that can happen in your neighborhood."

The four containers in question were taken off the ship.

Professionals then performed radiological and nuclear searches and x-rays.

"We found that there was no credible threat, everything lined up," Stump said.

"I don't know if I was scared, but it made me think about a lot of what-if scenarios," Caudell said.

He is, however, frightened by how the threat came to fruition.

"That is what is scary to me- that someone can use an online source like YouTube and reach such a big amount of people with a threat."

Stump says the community should be proud of the response at Wando Terminal.

"Even though this definitely elevated our heart rates, we responded in a cool, calm, collected fashion and made sure the port was safe," Stump said. "I've worked in ports across the U.S., east coast, west coast, Gulf of Mexico. The law enforcement partnerships here are amazing, through the roof."

"They did a great job with handling the situation quickly, taking a lot of precautions to make sure everything was okay," Caudell added.

At this time, no charges have been filed. The investigation is ongoing.

The US Coast Guard reports it is no longer involved in the situation, the FBI will handle all duties of the investigation until it is closed.

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