Man arrested in Grovetown pipe bomb case charged in 2011 accidental death of 3-year-old child

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

James Grates has been charged in the Grovetown pipe bomb investigation that began at this home. (Source: WRDW)

GROVETOWN, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Officials with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office have made an arrest in connection with a pipe bomb investigation in Grovetown.

According to CCSO, James Richard Grates, 35, has been charged with firearms possession. He is expected to be charged by the ATF with additional charges.

Several agencies, including the ATF and Richmond County bomb squad were called to a home in Grovetown after reports of multiple pipe bombs.

The home is on Lakeview Drive in a rural part of Grovetown on the outskirts of the city.

Corp. Jeremiah Welch with the Richmond County Bomb Squad can't say exactly what they found inside Grates' home, but he explained how the squad normally operates.

"The big factor is identifying what it is, and what the threat is and then making sure that you don't do anything that will take that item that's sitting there to an item that now is going to hurt people," Welch said.

Grates, meanwhile, had been previously charged and entered a guilty plea in a 2011 case where his 3-year-old son was killed in a car accident.

Grates, investigators said at the time, was under the influence of drugs when he drove into a utility poll on Old Savannah Road.

For now Grates is being held at the Columbia County Detention Center, we'll keep updated with any new information we get.

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