Tennessee man arrested after posting video with explosives, officials say

Agents found three pipe bombs, two Molotov cocktails, one handgun with tampered serial number, and ammunition. (WSMV)
Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 6:41 AM AKDT
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COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV/Gray News) - The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said it worked with Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives agents to apprehend an unstable man who was in possession of explosive chemicals in Tennessee, WSMV reports.

Deputies say they received a tip Monday about a video posted online of a man saying, “Hey ATF, let me know if this is legal. A pound of Tannerite, a pipe bomb and a wine bottle full of diesel.”

Officials identified the man in the video as 30-year-old Levi Flatt of Putnam County, Tennessee. ATF agents were contacted, it was determined that Flatt had enough materials to make a bomb, and a search warrant was issued.

Later that same day, two ATF agents said they observed Flatt drive away from his home in a white Chevrolet van. The agents followed the van to the Putnam County Highway Department parking lot and then to Walmart where he purchased a propane tank. After leaving the Walmart parking lot, the agents observed Flatt was traveling in the direction of the Putnam County Fairgrounds, so deputies moved in to perform a stop.

During his arrest, agents said Flatt admitted the explosive device from the video was inside the van in a blue cooler. The Tennessee Highway Patrol bomb squad was called to the scene and used a recovery robot to inspect the vehicle.

The search uncovered three pipe bombs, two Molotov cocktails, one handgun with tampered serial number, approximately 160 rounds of ammunition, a flak jacket and a shield, officials said. Flatt’s mother’s home in Baxter was also searched, which is his known residence.

Flatt was booked late Monday and charged with possession of prohibited weapons and alteration of serial numbers. He is being held without bond and is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 16.