A Marion man accused of starting more than a dozen roadside fires over four years was charged after authorities found meth, a weapon and blasting caps in his house during a search, according to a Thursday afternoon news release.

Lt. Chris Taylor of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office charged Barry Scott McCoyle, 38, address listed as Lytle Mountain Road in Marion, with possession of methamphetamine, possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a weapon of mass destruction.

Rangers with the N.C. Forest Service also charged McCoyle with 14 counts of setting fire to woodlands, brush lands and grasslands.

Investigators say McCoyle is responsible for purposely setting 14 roadside fires in the Marion, P.G. and Sugar Hill areas over the past four years.

Sheriff’s deputies and probation officers conducted a search of McCoyle’s residence on Tuesday night, April 9 and found 20 grams of methamphetamine, a handgun and 40 explosive blasting caps.

Members of the Sheriff’s Office, the McDowell County Fire Marshal’s Office and the N.C. Forest Service investigated the string of fires. They were assisted by members of state probation and parole, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the U.S. Forest Service.

McCoyle received a $70,000 bond on the drug and weapons charges. Bond information on the fire charges is to be determined.

Anyone with further information concerning roadside fires that have occurred in McDowell County should contact McDowell County Fire Marshal Craig Walker at 652-4000.

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