Police Find Unconscious Man with AR-15, Homemade Bomb at Northport Publix
A Northport man has been charged with a pair of felonies after police allegedly found him passed out in a Publix parking lot with an assault rifle and homemade bomb in his vehicle.
According to court documents filed Friday and obtained by the Thread, Northport Police responded to the Publix on Highway 69 North last Monday afternoon on reports that a man was unconscious in a vehicle there.
The responding officer saw evidence of drug use and called for EMTs and agents with the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force. The man, 27-year-old Briar Chance Wilson, was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Officers allegedly found a small amount of methamphetamine in the truck and obtained a warrant to charge Wilson with unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
As police began to inventory his vehicle before impounding it off the Publix parking lot, they allegedly found a loaded AR-15 and a homemade explosive device.
Police say the "bomb" was a 16-ounce Mason jar filled with an explosive compound called Tannerite designed to detonate when shot with a bullet.
Tannerite itself is commercially available but sold in plastic containers that disintegrate during the explosion. The video below, unrelated to the Northport case, demonstrates what force 16 ounces of the compound can generate.
Police say the device allegedly found in Wilson's vehicle would have been dangerous enough just by virtue of being in a glass jar but was also packed full of nails and staples to intentionally create shrapnel.
In addition to the drug charge, Wilson was charged with possessing, manufacturing, transporting, or distributing a destructive device, a class C felony.
Wilson was booked in the Tuscaloosa County Jail on a $10,000 bond.