HORSEHEADS- Hanover Square, in the heart of the Village of Horseheads, was blocked off for several hours this morning as New York State Police searched a home for reported “hazardous materials.”
According to New York State Police, on November 6th, a Town of Veteran Highway Department employee found what was believed to be an explosive device on Merka Road in the town. New York State Police and the local FBI responded, recovered the device and rendered it safe.
An investigation was launched, including interviews with people in the neighborhood as well as companies across the Unites States. As a result of this week long investigation, on Saturday police arrested 43 year old Michael P. Hilliard of Horseheads. Hilliard was charged with 1st Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon and was remanded to Chemung County Jail.
This morning New York State Police, including the New York State Police Bomb Disposal Unit and Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team executed a search warrant at Hilliard’s residence located at 207 South Main Street in Horseheads. There, they found what have been described as “several suspicious hazardous materials.”
Residents in the immediate area were evacuated from their homes and several streets were blocked off in the area surrounding the home, including South Main Street from East Franklin Street to Broad Street.
As of 3:00pm today, the area of East Franklin Street to Broad Street remain closed to the public and could remain closed off for up to 48 hours while the scene is being processed and the hazardous materials removed from the area.
State Police say those residents who have been evacuated will be assisted by the Red Cross.
New York State Police Troop E Commander Major Micklos S Szoczei says police cannot reveal what the materials are at this time, as this is an ongoing investigation. However due to the amount of materials, local teams are not able to remove all materials found. Therefore FBI teams from Quantico and Alabama are currently en route to Horseheads to assist.
State Police ask that anyone who may have information about this incident contact them at 585-398-4100