SOUTHERN UTAH NEWS: Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, Piute, San Juan, Washington, and Wayne counties

Explosives found in vehicle, man arrested in Washington City

Local News

WASHINGTON CITY, Utah (ABC4) – A man is in custody after authorities found explosives in his vehicle during a Washington City traffic stop.

A probable cause statement says 36-year-old Logan Mertlich was arrested on charges of recklessness – incendiary device, unlawful possession/purchase/transportation of dangerous weapon, use or possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance, and two counts of possession of marijuana.

The court document says a Washington City Police officer conducted a traffic stop on Mertlich at around 10:30 p.m. Saturday. The officer reported smelling a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle as he approached it.

While conducting a search of Mertlich’s vehicle, the probable cause statement says officers found marijuana and a pipe, as well as “a jar with a green leafy substance residue.” Authorities also report finding a substance suspected to be methamphetamine and mushrooms.

According to the probable cause statement, authorities also reported finding “a white box with what appeared to be home made explosives.”

“In the box were multiple cylindrical objects with what appeared to be [an] electrical fuse coming from the cylinders,” the statement reads, adding that Mertlich has “been known to make home made explosives.”

When asked about the box, Mertlich allegedly confirmed the objects were explosives, explaining that he makes explosives as a hobby. A member of the Washington County Bomb Squad was called in to take custody of the explosives.

Mertlich was then booked on the above charges and is being held without bail.

Authorities say Mertlich has had “several incidents involving explosives he has constructed personally.”

The probable cause statement says Mertlich made some explosives that denotated near the school in Washington fields in 2018 and he recently was involved in an incident where a child was injured with an explosive device.

No other details are available at this time. Mertlich is innocent until proven guilty.

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