Police Find Explosive Devices in Van With Children Inside: Officials

A man is in custody after police found two explosive devices in a van with young children inside in Philadelphia, according to investigators.

Police say they spotted a white Toyota that was double parked on the 5900 block of W. Champlost Street around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. As they approached the vehicle they smelled a heavy odor of marijuana coming from a white Dodge Caravan that was parked next to the Toyota, officials said.

Police say they noticed the driver of the Caravan, later identified as 32-year-old Derek McKinney, was leaning over to the right and hiding his hands. They also found two three-year-old children inside McKinney's vehicle, officials said.

A man is in custody after police found explosive devices and marijuana inside a van with two young children inside, according to investigators. NBC10’s Brandon Hudson is in the Germantown section of Philadelphia with the details.

As police searched the van, they found a jar on the floor of the vehicle that contained purple syrup, believed to be codeine, according to investigators. Police also say they found a sandwich bag containing marijuana in McKinney's pocket as well as a yellow pill bottle containing one pill. McKinney's eyes were bloodshot and he was thick-tongued when he spoke to the officer, police said.

As the officers continued to search through the vehicle they found a black bag next to the driver's seat area containing two homemade explosive devices, according to investigators.

The officers brought the two kids, one of whom was McKinney's child, to safety, evacuated homes nearby and established a perimeter. The Bomb Squad responded to the scene and confiscated the explosives without incident.

McKinney was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare, possessing an instrument of crime, recklessly endangering another person and possession of narcotics.

"We don't know if he had any malicious intent," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small. "Depending on how close those devices were to explode near people they could cause serious injury, possibly death. Especially when you have 3-year-old children in the vehicle at the time."

Small told NBC10 the timing of the incident is especially concerning considering the fact that the Democratic National Convention is set to take place in Philadelphia next week.

"This is a big concern to us especially with the Democratic National Convention coming up," Small said. "We're not too happy about finding anyone with explosive devices in the city. The police did a great job making this apprehension. The bomb squad did a great job identifying these devices and taking him into custody so at least this individual is not going to have the opportunity to utilize these explosive devices."

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