NC man arrested outside WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge with explosive devices

Dakota Shane Surrett faces charges of possessing a prohibited weapon and reckless endangerment.

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — A North Carolina man faces multiple charges after he was arrested outside the WonderWorks attraction in Pigeon Forge with explosives.

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On Friday shortly after 10 a.m., the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of Wears Valley Road after a report of a suspicious white van that had been parked for several hours running.

Deputies said they saw a man sitting in the van with a large picture of him and a woman against the steering wheel.

The man was identified as Dakota Surrett, 33, of Canton. According to deputies, Surrett said he stopped because he was driving from North Carolina to meet his wife and kids.

Deputies said Surrett was questioned about his actions and when asked if he planned to harm himself, Surrett said that he would never do anything like that.

Surrett and his vehicle were checked and cleared by dispatch and he left the scene.

Deputies said that around 11:30 a.m., the responding officer was contacted by dispatch and informed that Surrett’s wife contacted the sheriff’s office in regards to Surrett.

Surrett’s wife told dispatch that her husband texted her saying that he had explosives in the van and was planning on harming himself if she refused to come home with him. According to reports, Surrett wanted to meet his wife and the kids at WonderWorks.

Surrett’s wife also told authorities that he had 50lbs. of Tannerite and his intentions are to set it off. She also added that she did not know what Surrett is capable of.

Officers located a white 2019 Honda Odyssey with North Carolina tags parked in the back parking lot at WonderWorks.

Deputies entered the rear parking lot and the van attempting to leave. Deputies blocked the exit to contain the vehicle from endangering the public due to a possible bomb threat.

A felony stop was conducted, the vehicle was searched and Surrett was placed in the patrol vehicle.

Pigeon Forge Police units, Fire and EMS also responded to the scene.

The people in the area and WonderWorks personnel were evacuated. No injuries were reported.

A Sevier County K9 Bomb Dog arrived and did have a positive alert for explosives.

When he was arrested, Surrett admitted he brought two explosives devices from North Carolina and described them as a small round cylinder with yellow and purple wires. He also said the box was in the rear seat and he had thrown the two explosives by a fallen tree.

Bomb squad personnel searched the van and said they found a white box lettered ‘danger explosive’ and also recovered two blasting caps. Blasting caps are small explosive devices that can be used to set off a bigger device, such as TNT. The caps were safely recovered.

Surrett was charged with two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon (explosive) and reckless endangerment.

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