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Joshua Wayne Hawley
courtesy of Caldwell Co. Sheriff's Office

Suspect Arrested After Pipe Bombs Found at Hickory Church

At about 3 p.m. yesterday (May 7), Hickory Police responded to the Market Place Church on Highway 127 South in reference to two pipe bomb-type devices that were allegedly delivered to the church by 37-year-old Joshua Wayne Hawley. Hawley fled the area before Officers arrived.

Upon arrival, Officers evacuated the immediate area and called in the F.B.I. and the Gaston County & Gastonia Police bomb squads. The devices were rendered safe by the bomb squads and evidence was collected.

During the investigation, Officers learned that Hawley was at a residence in Burke County. Today, Officers from at least six agencies assisted in serving a search warrant and arrest warrant at an address on Kaylas Ridge Road in Connelly Springs. Hawley was taken into custody at the residence. He was charged with possession of weapons of mass destruction. Additional charges are possible.

Anyone with information regarding the ongoing investigation should call the Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551 or contact Richard Helderman at 828-261-2621 or rhelderman@hickorync.gov.