Police: Washington County man found with homemade explosives in car, police say

Logan Michael Mertlich. Photo Courtesy: Washington County Jail

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah, March 1, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A Washington County man has been arrested after he was allegedly found with homemade explosives in his vehicle.

A probable cause statement from the 5th District Court of Washington County said Logan Michael Mertlich, 36, is facing charges of:

  • Recklessness, incendiary device, a second-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance, schedule I/II/analog, a third-degree felony
  • Unlawful possession/purchase/transfer a dangerous weapon, a class A misdemeanor
  • 2 counts of possession of a controlled substance, marijuana/spice, a class A misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor

On Saturday at approximately 10:35 p.m., the arresting officer was on patrol in the area of 200 E. Telegraph St., in Washington City.

“I observed a white passenger vehicle leave the parking lot of 195 E. Telegraph St. without using its turn signal,” the statement said. “I then positioned myself behind the mentioned vehicle and ran its license plate. The plate returned showing no insurance found and to request proof of insurance. I then observed the vehicle turn eastbound on Telegraph Street.”

The arresting officer stopped the vehicle at 500 E. Telegraph St. The officer made contact with the driver of the vehicle, identified by his Utah driver’s license as Mertlich.

“Immediately when I made contact with Logan at his vehicle I could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle,” the statement said. “I informed Logan why I had stopped him. I observed on the front seat of the vehicle near the center console a see-through bag with a large amount of a green leafy substance inside of it. I also observed in the center console a glass pipe with a green leafy substance in the bowl of the pipe.”

When additional officers arrived, the arresting officer read the suspect his Miranda rights, and he agreed to speak with the officer. He told the officer he did not have a medical marijuana card but that he had a note from his doctor allowing him to smoke.

When the officer searched the vehicle, a jar with a green leafy substance residue was found in the driver’s side door, as well as a short straw that had white residue on it, and a pen that had been dissasembled so it resembled a straw, with a white powdery residue in it. Inside a black Vans backpack that was located on the front passenger seat a prescription bottle with the suspect’s name on it had two small baggies inside. Inside one of the bags was a white crystallized substance, thought to be methamphetamine. In the trunk of the vehicle there was another large bag of a green leafy substance suspected of being marijuana, as well as a bag containing what appeared to be “dried up mushrooms.”

“In the back seat on the passenger side was a white box with what appeared to be homemade explosives,” the statement said. “In the box were multiple cylindrical objects with what appeared to be a electrical fuse coming from the cylinders.”

The suspect admitted to making the explosives using black powder, the statement said. A member of Washington County Bomb Squad arrived on scene and took custody of the explosives. The suspect stated that he made the explosives as a hobby.

“Logan Mertlich has had several incidents involving explosives he has constructed personally,” the statement said “In 2018 he made some explosives that he detonated near the school in Washington Fields. There was a search done of his residence at the time where several pounds of materials to make explosives were located and confiscated.

Logan was recently involved in an incident where a child was injured with an explosive device showing that Logan has been reckless and unlawful with his use of explosives. Logan’s use of explosives has caused serious bodily injury to a child,” the statement said.

The felony was committed while the suspect was on probation or parole, according to police.

Mertlich was transported to Washington County Jail, where he is being held without bail.


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