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Authorities: Suspect arrested and charged with having weapons of mass destruction

<i>Police handout via WGAL</i><br/>Authorities say Joseph McClure is in custody and charged with multiple felonies after a nine-hour
Police handout via WGAL
Authorities say Joseph McClure is in custody and charged with multiple felonies after a nine-hour "police incident" in Middletown

By Web Staff

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    MIDDLETOWN, Pennsylvania (WGAL) — A man is in custody and charged with multiple felonies after a nine-hour “police incident” in Middletown, Dauphin County, on Wednesday.

Multiple state and federal agencies, which included the FBI, Homeland Security and the Middletown Bureau of Police, were involved.

According to Middletown Public Safety Director William Baldwin, the investigation, which started around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, uncovered an explosive device at a home in the area of North Union Street and Spring Street.

The Pennsylvania State Police’s explosive unit was called in and the Reading Police brought in its bomb squad and bomb containment chamber. Residents in nearby homes were evacuated.

“A lot of men and women are out here working diligently to protect this community. That’s how serious this situation was,” Baldwin said.

Officials say because the investigation is ongoing, the type of device or explosive is not being released.

The suspect has been identified as Joseph McClure, 44. He is charged with the following:

-weapons of mass destruction -risking catastrophe -reckless endangerment

McClure is being held at the Dauphin County Prison. Bail was denied.

The incident prompted the Middletown Borough Police Department to evacuate all homes and businesses on North Union Street between Spring Street and East Water Street Wednesday afternoon.

Residents were asked to seek shelter at the Middletown Borough MCSO building located at 60 West Emaus St.

Roads on North Union between East Water and Spring streets were closed to pedestrians and cars for several hours.

Middletown Mayor James Curry thanked law enforcement and special units for the work.

“What the public needs to understand is that while complaints were being lodged. You have all these people working on the situation at hand and, in fact, questioning the suspect at the time,” Curry said.

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