Local News

Fourth Man Held in Scrap Plant Ammo Case

Posted February 21, 2008
Updated February 22, 2008

— A fourth man has been detained in connection with the discovery last week of military explosives at a Raleigh scrap-metal recycling plant, police said Thursday.

Manuel Sanchez Uriosteget was being held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, said Capt. David Smith, of the Sanford Police Department.

Almost three dozen military explosives were found and detonated at Raleigh Metals Recycling last week. Plant owner Greg Brown said a customer sold the munitions to the plant with other scrap metal, and his workers didn't recognize them as live ammunition.

Two workers sustained minor injuries when one of the shells exploded as a load of scrap was being processed, and a team of munitions experts from Fort Bragg detonated other devices over the next four days.

The process forced nearby residents from their homes and required a portion of Garner Road to be shut down for much of the week.

Uriosteget lives in the same mobile home park as Adrian Nunez-Aviles and brothers Javier Gomez-Urieta and Salvador Gomez-Urieta, who were arrested a week ago on immigration violations and have been held for questioning in the munitions case.

A search last week of a mobile home on Carver Drive in Sanford turned up artillery shells in the yard similar to the ones that were dropped off at Raleigh Metals Recycling, including two live rounds.

A search of Uriosteget's trailer also turned up ammunition, Smith said. Investigators located anti-tank weapons, spent 2-millimeter shells and .50-caliber bullets in a yard at the trailer park, he said.

The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also are investigating the case.


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  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Feb 22, 2008

    Nothing there but spent 50 caliber bullets, which are about as explosive as a rock. WRAL, you need to check your facts.

  • Tripwire Feb 22, 2008

    Yea it looks like they were "mining" the impact areas for spent rounds and empty casings and also got a bunch of live dud rounds as well.

  • chfdcpt Feb 22, 2008

    From the pic, it looks like they were spent shells that were dug from the firing range. Unfortunately, when you fire a live mortar or artillery shell and it does not go "BOOM", it is nearly impossible to locate amid all the other spent ammo.

    So that is how those illegals got ahold of such powerful military explosives, they dug them from the firing range. Not as safe as stealing copper wiring from electrical substations, but hey...

  • DayumKrazy1 Feb 22, 2008

    makes you wonder whats going on in our country that hasn't surfaced yet.

  • Sandollar Feb 21, 2008

    Does anyone know where the scrap came from? The news says that NIS are handling these guys. Will they get in trouble for having having live ammo? Was it illegally acquired or was it from a surplus sale? I still think this is scary.

  • Ripcord Feb 21, 2008

    Illegals, eh? Just remember...

    Diversity is Our Strength.

  • atozca Feb 21, 2008

    I want political heads to roll! Why do we still have illegals in our country and why do the have access to such artillery?

    By the way, once again, we can't compete in a construction bid because the guy who has the bid is working illegals and can afford to do the job cheaper than we can........ work that we would like to do so we can continue to pay taxes and support those who put us out of work... imagine that.

  • Mr. Keeping It Real Feb 21, 2008

    Where did they get this stuff from?

  • Gab Feb 21, 2008

    I still can't get over illegals having such easy access to powerful military explosives. I just wonder what terrorists inside the US have ...

  • Worland Feb 21, 2008

    Those two empty shell casings look more like 30mm to me. The rest of it is just a bunch of old and rusty 50 cal projectiles. Nothing too dangerous in that lot. Looks like scrap you'd find on any military range.