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ST. GEORGE — A St. George man who has been held without bail following his arrest in February was sentenced in federal court Wednesday.
The original arrest of 36-year-old Logan Mertlich came after officers in Washington City found explosive devices in his car —one of three similar incidents the defendant was admittedly involved in.
During Wednesday's hearing before U.S. District Court Judge David Nuffer, Mertlich appeared via video for sentencing on one felony count of transportation of explosive materials, a charge that was filed March 26 by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Dent in St. George. The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge in May as part of a plea agreement with the government.
During the traffic stop in February, officers recovered a white box with what appeared to be homemade explosives during a search of the suspect's vehicle. Officers also recovered several cylindrical objects with what looked to be an electrical fuse coming from each of the cylinders. At the time, the suspect told police he made the objects using black powder as a hobby.
The case against Mertlich was initially filed in 5th District Court, but once the federal charge was filed, the state case was dropped.
Dent outlined the details of the case Wednesday and said officers recovered 10 explosive devices from the backseat of the defendant's vehicle that were later tested by the ATF. The analysis revealed that each contained a perchlorate explosive mixture, meaning they were created using perchlorate and aluminum.