NORTH SALT LAKE, Utah, April 27, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A man is in Davis County Jail, accused of having explosives in a make-shift laboratory in his North Salt Lake bedroom.
Jose Benito Guanajuato, 34, was arrested Monday after North Salt Lake officers responded to a call from a homeowner reporting the smell of ammonia coming from a spare bedroom in the home.
According to a probable cause statement filed in 2nd District Court in Farmington, a responding officer observed what appeared to be a lab in the bedroom. An agent from the Davis County Narcotics task force was then called to the scene.
The agent determined that the lab appeared to be used to make some type of explosive. An FBI agent also responded and confirmed that assessment.
A Davis County Sheriff’s Office detective, who is also a bomb technician, was called to assist in the investigation, and the homeowner gave permission for the officers to search the common areas of the home.
“While investigating the room with the lab, a crystal type substance was located and tested positive for methamphetamine using a field test kit,” the probable cause statement said.
At the same time, according to the statement, officers received word that Guanajuato was walking on Redwood Road in North Salt Lake. He was located and taken into custody for investigation of possession of a controlled substance and making explosives.
The statement notes that Guanajuato was wearing a green jacket and straw hat at the time of his arrest, and a large knife was found on his person.
“In the room with the chemicals and lab equipment there were two pieces of notepad paper that had several numbers and notations on them. Some of these notations said VX, Sarin, Nerve Agents, blister agents, mustard and lewisite,” the probable cause statement said.
Other notations had measurements in grams and ounces, and a list of chemicals.
Two warrants for the residence were obtained, and during the search, receipts showing the purchase of some of the chemicals in the “lab” were found.
Surveillance footage from area stores was obtained, showing that the man purchasing the chemicals appears to be Guanajuato, wearing the green jacket and/or the straw hat.
Also found in Guanajuato’s room were two separate substances that tested positive for methamphetamine and cocaine, the statement said.
“In Jose’s bedroom there was a black bag that contained a laptop, tablet, cell phones and some notebooks. In one of the notebooks there were some notes that had the word ‘Target’ and underneath that word American Towers and some lat long coordinates,” the probable cause statement said. “There was a notation about American towers that said ‘American towers is not only the foundation of homeland security but is also coustums (sic), ice.”
It also appears, according to the statement, that several of the latitude-longitude coordinates refer to the Salt Lake City area.
The Davis County Health Department responded to the scene while officers were there, and conducted several tests of the chemicals in the room with the lab. When the tests were complete, “it appeared that there was everything present to make what is called TATP which is an explosive substance,” the statement said.
When interviewed, Guanajuato declined to say why he had those chemicals in the home.
According to the probable cause statement, “the chemicals had been mixed or manipulated to make another substance that if mixed with an appropriate fuel would become an explosive substance.”
The reporting officer also noted that the location of the residence is near homes built in close proximity to each other, and an explosion or fire would have put several homes at risk of burning, and the residents at risk of serious injury or death.
Guanajuato is now facing charges of:
- Possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person
- Two counts of possession of use of a controlled substance
- Recklessness — incendiary device