SALT LAKE CITY — Police have arrested a St. George man who said his "hobby" is creating homemade explosive devices after officers found explosives in his car, charging documents say.
Logan Michael Mertlich, 36, was charged Monday in 5th District Court with recklessly possessing an incendiary device, a second-degree felony; unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon, drug possession and two counts of marijuana possession, class A misdemeanors; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.
Mertlich was pulled over Saturday night by Washington police.
"Immediately when I made contact with Logan at his vehicle I could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle," an officer wrote in an affidavit accompanying charging documents.
Backup officers were called and police said they found drugs and drug paraphernalia after searching Mertlich's vehicle.
"In the back seat on the passenger side was a white box with what appeared to be homemade explosives. In the box were multiple cylindrical objects with what appeared to be an electrical fuse coming from the cylinders," according to the affidavit. "When Logan was questioned about the mentioned objects, he confirmed that the objects were indeed explosives. Logan admitted to making the explosives using black powder. ... Logan stated that he made the explosives as a hobby."
A member of the Washington County bomb squad was then called to the scene.
The affidavit notes that Mertlich "has had several incidents involving explosives he has constructed personally," including a 2018 incident in which he ignited an explosive on a new football field of a high school under construction.
Police also noted that Merlitch "was recently involved in an incident where a child was injured with an explosive device." No other details were immediately available about that incident, but the court documents say the child was seriously injured.