Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a Pemberton Township man and his girlfriend have been charged with possessing illegal explosives after two pipe bombs were discovered during the execution of search warrants at their home and the residence of an acquaintance in Southampton.
William Heath, 47, and Ashley Sprague, 32, of the 600 block of Lakehurst Road, were charged with Possession of Explosives/Bombs for an Unlawful Purpose and Possession of Prohibited Weapons and Devices. Heath was also charged with Unlawful Possession of a Weapon and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose for carrying a revolver.
The investigation began earlier this month after law enforcement officials received information that Heath and Sprague were in possession of illegal explosives.
Search warrants were executed May 22 at their Pemberton home, as well as a residence in Southampton where they had been recently staying. Two pipe bombs were discovered, one at the Pemberton house and another inside a truck owned by Heath that was parked at the Southampton residence, where he and Sprague were taken into custody.
It is believed that Heath manufactured the pipe bombs.
Heath was ordered detained by a Superior Court judge and is lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly. Sprague is scheduled for a detention hearing tomorrow.
The case will be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment. Heath and Sprague will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Michael Angermeier, supervisor of the BCPO Gang, Gun & Narcotics Task Force (GGNTF).
The cooperative investigation included personnel from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the BCPO Gang, Gun & Narcotics Task Force, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New Jersey State Police, and the Pemberton Township Police Department.
All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.