Federal Charges Possible on Toccoa Man With Firearms, Live Grenades

A Toccoa man faces a local charge and possibly federal charges after an investigation that culminated in two search warrants last week.

Stephens County Sheriff Randy Shirley said that 67-year-old Paul Coy Hulse of Toccoa was arrested last week on a local charge of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

Shirley said it started when officials at the Toccoa-Stephens County Airport contacted authorities about an individual that was hanging around the new airport terminal on a regular basis.

The sheriff said his office determined that the individual was Hulse, who is a registered sex offender convicted of child pornography in Florida and a sexual assault in North Carolina that moved here from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania two years ago.

Shirley said at that point, deputies and investigators visited Hulse at his apartment on Nottingham Trail.

“During the course of their visit, they discovered that he had some large amounts of ammunition and some weapons scattered in the living room area, as well as some other items that looked very suspicious,” said Shirley.

Shirley said that authorities then took Hulse into custody and obtained a search warrant for his home.

The sheriff said authorities found even more items.

“Some of the items we seized were a fully automatic German 43 machine gun, an AK-47, an AR-15, some Uzi’s,’ said Shirley, who added 24 assault rifles were found in all.

“We also found some live grenades,” said Shirley.

However, Shirley said that was not all they found.

“After finding what we believed to be some chemical explosives and some detonating devices, and some other incendiary devices, we contacted the GBI Bomb Squad,” said Shirley.

The ATF was also contacted and sent 10 agents, said Shirley.

Shirley said authorities also searched a storage unit in Eastanollee and found firearms, ammunition, explosive devices, and dangerous chemicals within that unit.

The sheriff said state and federal agents removed everything safely from both locations and took all of the items into custody for further analysis.

Shirley said the investigation is ongoing, including looking into possible motives.  Shirley says authorities do not know his motives at this time.

The sheriff said authorities found two “thumb drives” on Hulse during a search at the Stephens County Jail and also have turned those over to federal agents.

He added federal agents will also look into an offshore account Hulse allegedly has access to that has thousands of dollars in it.

Shirley said federal warrants are forthcoming against Hulse, who remains in the Stephens County Jail awaiting pickup by U.S. Marshals.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted in this case by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations Bomb Squad, Mountain Judicial Circuit NCIS Drug Team, and federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.