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Law enforcement in North Carolina's Moore County seeking search warrants as power is fully restored

Dan Kane, Carli Brosseau, and Adam Wagner, The News & Observer on

Published in News & Features

RALEIGH, N.C. — Law enforcement agencies forged ahead Thursday with their investigation into who shot out two electrical substations Saturday, causing Moore County to lose power for days.

Richard Maness, chief deputy of the Moore County Sheriff’s Office, said detectives have sought approval for several search warrants that they began drawing up as early as Sunday. Maness declined to provide specifics about people or property that sheriff’s detectives want to search.

“Several search warrants have been applied for, the status of those I’m not prepared to comment on at this time,” he said. “But obviously with any criminal investigation like this that’s an invaluable tool for law enforcement.”

Maness said the sheriff’s office hasn’t identified suspects. The search warrants are part of the effort to identify possible suspects.

“We’re looking at everybody from all walks of life who had the expertise and the knowledge of the electrical grid and what could disable it,” he said.

Search warrants must be approved by a state judge who reviews them to determine whether law enforcement has provided probable cause for a search.

 

Maness confirmed that shell casings were found on Duke Energy property. “We collected multiple shell casings and we have not released the weapon type or weapon caliber,” he said.

Maness said he could not confirm an ABC News report, attributed to anonymous law enforcement sources, that federal search warrants are also being drawn up. State, local and federal agencies are investigating the substation attacks.

He also shed more light on what the sheriff’s office did when visiting Emily Grace Rainey, an outspoken opponent of a drag show that was held the night the substations were attacked.

The former Army psychological operations officer is a right-wing activist known locally for her protests of pandemic restrictions and drag shows. She led a group of about 100 people to the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.

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