Police, FBI, bomb squad and several emergency responders were at Buccaneer Ridge Apartments at East Tennessee State University Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
ETSU Spokesperson Joe Smith confirms "suspicious items" were found and we've learned Building B was evacuated. We're told police raided one of the units in Building B and found enough to warrant the evacuation.
Sunday morning ETSU released a statement about the incident:
"Last night and during the morning hours, ETSU Public Safety and a number of outside agencies conducted a thorough investigation of two apartments at Buc Ridge Apartments where drugs, drug paraphernalia, and other unusual items were discovered. These agencies include the Johnson City Police Department, the Johnson City Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit, the state fire marshal, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Fire Arms (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Unicoi County Sherriff’s Department which provided canine units.
The agencies were called in after marijuana, clear crystal pellets, propane canisters, assorted powders, vermiculite, an unknown liquid, and a non-active pressure cooker were discovered by ETSU Public Safety in two apartments and a student vehicle. Upon immediate discovery of these items, Building B of Buc Ridge Apartments was evacuated as a precaution while the investigators conducted their review.
No firearms or explosive devices were located, and it was the conclusion of the responding agencies that these items were not being used for manufacturing any type of explosive device. All powders and the liquid are being sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for analysis. The incident remains under investigation.
Various marijuana-related drug charges have been filed against four ETSU students. All have been arrested. A campus disciplinary review of these four students charged with the crimes has begun. These students will not be allowed to be on campus during this disciplinary review.
The university does not feel there is any present danger to the residents of Buc Ridge or the entire ETSU campus. Please be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to ETSU Public Safety at 439-4480 or call 9-1-1. Students who have been directly affected by this incident and desire counseling services should contact the ETSU Counseling Center at 439-4841 or ETSU Public Safety during evening and weekend hours."
David D. Collins
Vice President Finance and Administration