Court hearing reveals guns, drugs and explosives found inside Henrico home
Trial date for 52-year-old Michael Hardy set for October
HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - The bizarre details and real danger from that police raid back in March in the Durwood Crescent neighborhood in Henrico became clearer in Henrico General District court Wednesday.
During the preliminary hearing of Michael Hardy, four witnesses from Henrico police and the fire department described the 52-year-old’s home as a heavily fortified drug house.
A bomb technician with the police department said during the raid, he noticed items that concerned him inside the home. He said police found a heavily fortified door, multiple cameras, electrical cables, a heavy safe, and materials used for an improvised explosive device on the home’s second level.
“I was there to make sure everyone was safe and to make sure nothing detonated on them,” the technician told the judge when asked how he was involved in the home search.
The technician says officers also found a shotgun booby trap, which was screwed into the door frame and rigged to go off when the door was slid open. According to the technician, the shotgun was aimed approximately at head level.
“I took the shotgun shell out to make sure the booby trap was safe,” the technician testified.
According to testimony from another officer, Hardy told police that his daughter got in deep with drug cartels in Texas, so he got into the business to get her out before eventually becoming addicted to the drugs too. The officer also testified that Hardy said the traps and explosives weren’t intended for police.
A deputy fire marshal from the Henrico Fire Department says Hardy had several explosive materials, including 40 pounds of an explosive substance. The fire marshal says several unused pipe bombs and remote devices to detonate explosives were also found.
According to witness testimony, Hardy also possessed a book on IED information. The fire marshal said that Hardy served in the military, which is how he may have gotten in possession of the book. Similar drugs, guns, explosives, and a book on how to make explosives were also found in a trailer in his backyard.
“Apart from his intent to only perhaps just get the bad guys, a shotgun doesn’t have a brain. It’s going to fire when it’s triggered. That could be a child, a guest in the home, a police officer,” said NBC12 legal analyst Steve Benjamin.
Benjamin says prosecutors will be hyperfocused on the imminent danger Hardy’s actions put the public and police in.
“This was an incredibly dangerous and scary situation, not only for the neighbors but also for police who are having to search through the home,” Benjamin said. “When you combine potential drug trafficking with the possession or manipulation of explosive devices, then you’re scaring everybody. Then that case is going to receive all appropriate attention.”
Neighbors who live in the Durwood Crescent neighborhood said at the time this happened, they were scared for their lives. But after hearing the details in court on Wednesday, one man said this sounds like something you’d only see on TV.
“[I’m in] total surprise. I mean, even like I said, I talked to neighbors, and nobody had a clue about what was going on in there,” Glenn Williams, who lives nearby, said. “Like, we said before, it’s like a TV show, and it’s totally out of the norm, especially in this neighborhood. I mean, this is pretty much a quiet, upscale neighborhood, but yeah, that’s just wild.”
According to another witness, the drugs found in the home are consistent with distribution. Police witnesses testified that they found 14 firearms inside an upstairs bedroom.
Hardy had two drug charges for possession of Meth & Fentanyl dropped, but he faces about a dozen other charges, including:
- Possess a Firearm with Possessing with Intent to Distribute Schedule Class I/II drug
- Possession With Intent To Distribute Meth reduced to Possess Meth
- Setting or Fixing a Deadly weapon
- 4 counts of possession of materials to make an explosive device.
- 5 counts of possession of an explosive device.
Hardy was also found guilty on six counts of possession of fireworks, which carries up to a $100 fine for each offense.
Hardy has a trial date set for Henrico Circuit Court on the 24 and 25 of October.
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