By Charlotte Underwood / Staff Writer
The report of an obscene sign led to the arrest of a Knox County man for several charges, some of which involved weapons and explosives found in his home on Wednesday.
Glenn D. Powell, 65, of 932 KY 3440, Barbourville, was arrested after law enforcement officials found a “multitude of weapons,” including at least one explosive device at his residence around 10 a.m.
Deputies with the Knox County Sheriff’s Department initially responded to a call regarding “obscene material” at a private residence located on KY 3440.
Once deputies arrived at the home, they found a sign stolen from a local business with obscene and disparaging comments written on the back of the sign that referred to a daycare located across the street from Powell’s residence. Beside the driveway, there was a plastic glove that had been set on a metal fence pole with the middle finger extended. There were two more signs, one that read, “Out of pills? Feeling bad?” and “Now buying garbage.”
The investigation continued throughout the day.
“When he (Powell) opened the door, we saw what looked to be approximately 20 guns,” said Knox County Sheriff’s Deputy Claude Hudson. Powell reported to deputies that he had not seen his ex-wife in about two weeks and when law enforcement inquired about her further, he told them to “look up on the hill where the buzzards are flying,” according to Hudson. Based on this information, deputies then obtained a search warrant to search the house and outbuildings.
As the investigation continued, Hudson and Knox County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Wagner located an “artillery simulator that was wired,” according to Hudson.
Having pulled a tour of duty in Afghanistan, Hudson said he knew immediately what the device was. Wagner, who toured in Iraq, also knew that the device was dangerous.
“That’s when we called in the Kentucky State Police Bomb Squad,” Hudson said.
Kentucky State Police Special Operations K-9 handler Tackett Wilson and K-9 Max went through the residence and outbuildings in search of other explosive devices. The bomb squad successfully detonated the wired artillery simulator.
“He’s good at what he does; I trust him with my life,” Wilson said of Max.
In total, law enforcement officials located 68 rifles and handguns. One of the guns was stolen, according to Hudson. Powell’s ex-wife was successfully located safe and in another location.
At 5:36 p.m., a loud bang was heard as the last outbuilding was forcefully opened and checked for explosives by the bomb squad.
“That’s how we open doors without a key,” said a member of the Kentucky State Police Hazardous Devices unit.
Powell garnered a weapons charge for the stolen firearm and explosive device, as well as charges for menacing the public, resisting arrest and possibly others to follow.
Knox County Sheriff’s Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Barbourville Fire Department, Knox County Emergency Management and the Kentucky State Police Bomb all responded to the call.