Part of I-95 in SC shut down when bomb materials, drugs found in - WNCN: News, Weather

Part of I-95 in SC shut down when bomb materials, drugs found in car

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A search of the car along closed I-95 along with the two suspects. Sumter Sheriff photo A search of the car along closed I-95 along with the two suspects. Sumter Sheriff photo
SUMTER, SC -

Two people were charged and I-95 was shut down in South Carolina on Wednesday after deputies found bomb materials, drugs and $12,000 in cash in a car.

The incident happened early Wednesday afternoon while Sumter County Sheriff's Office deputies were performing traffic enforcement on I-95 in Sumter County.

Deputies first noticed the suspect's car when in southbound lanes when a light grey Dodge Avenger pulled into the lane of deputy's car "and almost side swiped the cruiser," Sumter Counties deputies say.

A vehicle stop was initiated and a man named Dean V. Smoronk was found to be the driver of the car that contained a couple from New Hampshire.

After handing Smoronk a warning ticket for the violation, the officer noticed several factors that lead to him to ask Smoronk if he had a problem with him (the officer) walking his drug-sniffing K-9 around the vehicle, deputies said.

Smoronk stated that the officer could and the officer proceeded with the "free air sniff" with the K-9.

While doing so, a passenger in the vehicle, later identified as Christina M. Cuozzo kept asking the driver "Are you sure you want them to do that?" deputies said.

The K-9 indicated at three different locations on the vehicle and a search was started, deputies said.

"During that search, a quantity of suspected methamphetamine was found in Cuozzo's purse, a large quantity of suspected methamphetamine was found inside a fake energy drink can along with a small amount of marijuana, pills, and an unknown white powder inside a black computer bag," deputies said in a press release.

An open bottle of Crown Royal was located under the driver's seat and $12529 in cash was found in some luggage and inside Cuozzo's purse and was seized, deputies said.

Both suspects were placed under arrest and while checking the vehicle, an officer noticed brown box containing several items.

A "plumbers putty" container was found to contain gun powder and steel shot from cut open shotgun shell, deputies said.

Officers backed away from the car, called for assistance, and closed I-95 south bound between HWY. 378 AND HWY. 527.

During more searching of the car, the vehicle contained more steel shot, unopened shotgun shells, cut open shotgun shells, clay, a TV remote control, propane cylinder, small jumper cables, an alarm remote and gun powder, deputies said.

After securing the evidence the interstate was reopened.

Both suspects were transported to the Sumter/Lee Regional Detention Center without incident.

Cuozzo, age 45, Smoronk, age 52, both of Meaderboro Road, Farmington, New Hampshire were each charged with trafficking methamphetamine (10 to 28 grams), possession of marijuana, possession controlled substance and possession of bomb making material.

Deputies said that more charges are expected.

The State Law Enforcement Division (S.L.E.D.), The Bureau Of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms (ATF), South Carolina Highway Patrol and local firefighters responded to the scene.

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