SALT LAKE CITY — A U.S. District judge denied the release Tuesday of a Tremonton man with a history of making explosive devices.
John Huggins is charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device.
In court, prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office argued that Huggins has a “serious risk of non-appearance” but that he’s more of a danger.
Federal prosecutors say Huggins has built himself up as a professional bomb maker and showed undercover agents videos of him blowing up devices.
A federal complaint alleges Huggins planned to blow up the Tremonton City Police Station, assassinate two officers and destroy bridges and infrastructure to slow emergency response in hopes of stirring the community to rise up against the government.
But Huggins’ attorney described Huggins as an impressionable man, one his brother described as reading “too many Tom Clancy novels.”
Huggins’ attorney said no explosive chemicals were found in the device authorities found and Huggins unequivocally denies making comments about “targets.”
Huggins’ brother showed up in court to support his brother but declined to comment on the case.
Huggins’ attorney told the judge that his family, who live in Box Elder County, could provide a stable place for Huggins.
After hearing the arguments, the judge said Huggins was a “manageable risk” but was “a danger to society.”
Federal prosecutors say the case will go to a grand jury next week and then Huggins will be back in court for an initial appearance.