Police find missile at Savannah home
Associated Press
Wednesday, August 11, 2004

SAVANNAH, Ga. - An anti-tank missile was found under the home of two men recently jailed on federal firearms charges who are also suspects in a trash bin explosion about a block from the house.

A two-block radius around the home of Broderick Dass, 48, and his 19-year-old son, Brandon, was evacuated for at least two hours Monday after police found the AT-4 anti-tank missile, Savannah police Sgt. Mike Wilson said.

Officers went to the house to respond to a report of a burglary and found the missile, Sgt. Wilson said.

"They said, 'Whoa,' in light of the history of the residence," he said, referring to a search of the home last month that yielded 10 automatic weapons, some with altered serial numbers.

Savannah authorities contacted the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Army bomb-disposal unit at nearby Fort Stewart, which detonated the missile at a nearby fairground.

The Dasses, who remain in federal custody, were arrested by game wardens July 17 after they were caught wandering in an aerial gunnery range used by helicopters at Fort Stewart. The charges included illegally possessing automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines, along with harassing an endangered gopher tortoise with a Rottweiler, said Steve Hart, a spokesman for Hunter Army Airfield.

He said it's possible the men could have taken the AT-4 missile from the range.

"There's unexploded ordnance out there," he said.

The Dasses were released by the military, but ATF agents arrested them four days later and authorities later found the weapons in their home, said Atlanta ATF Agent Gary Orchowski.

The day after the men were arrested, a trash bin exploded as it was being emptied into a garbage truck a block from the Dasses' home. It obliterated the bin, and the truck was severely damaged. No one was hurt.

That incident also prompted an evacuation of nearby homes after police found another explosive in the truck's trash compartment and 20 mm bullets used in mounted military machine guns.

Agent Orchowski said no charges have been filed in the explosion, but the Dasses are suspects.

Kathy Kirby was one of the residents evacuated Monday. Though the missile was detonated almost a mile away, evacuees heard and felt the explosion, she said.

"Your hair was moving like a breeze hit you all of a sudden," she said.

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