HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A Henrico County man now faces almost two dozen new charges, a combination of misdemeanors and felonies, after police said they found bomb-making materials and drugs in his home.
Henrico County Police announced the new charges against Michael Hardy, 52, Tuesday night.
The charges stemmed from a two-day investigation into Hardy's Tuckahoe-area home earlier this month that led to a partial evacuation of his West End neighborhood.
A majority of the new charges were drug-related, including maintaining a fortified drug house.
He was also charged with nine counts of manufacturing or possession of an explosive device.
Henrico Commonwealth's Attorney Shannon Taylor said the charges were reached after numerous law enforcement agencies met to discuss what they found inside Hardy's Tuckahoe home during the two-day search.
"The evidence was all collected, then going through and sorting through those pieces of evidence to include the narcotics and also some of the explosive devices through communications with my office," Taylor said. "I think this is an awesome example of great teamwork."
Hardy was charged with possession with intent to distribute for fentanyl, meth, xanax, and crack cocaine. They also charged him with manufacturing crack cocaine.
Additional search warrants filed in Henrico County Circuit Court stated officers "physically observed the cocaine in various stages of manufacturing as it relates to the manufacturing process of crack."
The warrant also indicated bomb-making materials were found in a cargo trailer and in a fortified room on the home's second floor.
A search warrant stated that those materials included "explosive materials, explosive and ignitable compounds, a constructed improvised Molotov cocktail, a constructed pipe bomb" and an IED handbook.
Search warrants also revealed officers sought out and seized many types of electronics related to both the bomb- and drug-making charges. The exterior of Hardy's home has many surveillance cameras posted and officers wrote "[t]he surveillance system has the potential to provide information on the volume and possible identity of users that meet with Hardy as well as the possible source of supply, should the deals occur at the residence."
"It was a fortress"
"It was a fortress," neighbor Lynn Johnston said about the house down the street from her own.
Johnston was among a group of neighbors who met with Henrico Police Tuesday night to discuss the ongoing investigation.
She said much of the conversation was focused on neighborhood safety concerns.
"Was there a continued threat?" she said. "Is there anyone else coming in as another drug dealer, possibly surrounding the place or coming looking for whatever."
Johnston said she left the meeting feeling there were no additional safety concerns. She credited Henrico Police with how the department has handled the case, so far.
"I just think that the police have done a wonderful job of communicating and keeping everyone up to date being quite open about the investigation as much as they can reveal in a very timely and responsive manner," she added. "This has been quite unusual and we really appreciate it as a neighborhood."
Michael Hardy's Sister
Michael Hardy's sister, who said she has not seen her brother in a year, told CBS 6 News she felt his case has been "sensationalized."
Beth Hardy-McLennans said the last time she made the trip to Virginia to see her brother, she did so out of concern.
She described her brother as being in a downward spiral.
She said her brother was a military veteran with three kids and a deceased ex-wife.
She said her brother has experienced adversity, external pressures, and challenges that may have contributed to his arrest.
In addition to the drug and bomb-making charges, Hardy was previously charged with strangling and assaulting a 21-year-old woman inside his Henrico home.
Hardy's sister said she doesn't know the 21-year-old woman, but said the woman and her brother had been dating for about a year.
Records showed that the two had recently been issued an unused marriage license.
The day after Hardy was arrested for the alleged assault, police went to his home on Durwood Crescent to conduct search warrants.
This led to an investigation involving multiple agencies and the evacuation of surrounding homes after police believed there were hazardous materials inside the home that posed a danger.
After more than a day, officers rendered the home safe.
No one was injured and evacuated residents were able to return home.
Hardy's sister said her goal was not to excuse the actions her brother may or may not have committed but to hopefully prevent people from jumping to what she calls a "crazy conclusion."
Hardy, who was ordered held without bond, is due back in court in mid-April.
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