Homemade explosive device found near industrial park
An attempt to detonate the weapon apparently failed
A homemade explosive was found Sunday morning near a Snyderville Basin industrial park east of Interstate 80.
At 8:13 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office received a report after employees at a business in the area found an improvised explosive device within a secured, fenced-in lot, according to Lt. Andrew Wright. Unified Fire Authority’s bomb squad also responded to the call. The Sheriff’s Office does not have a unit dedicated to disposing explosive ordinances.
Wright described the device as a tube — about 5 inches long and 2 inches in diameter – consisting of two spray-paint can caps connected with electrical tape. He said a paper towel, soaking in an unknown liquid, stuck out of both ends of the tube. It appeared to have been lit, but failed to successfully detonate.
“There are a lot of thoughts that cross your mind when something like this is found,” Wright said. “Of course it is very concerning to us that someone is building these devices and trying to detonate them. The world we live in, as far as domestic terrorism, there are so many things that go through people’s minds when you hear about something close to home in our community.
“It puts people on edge,” Wright said.
Unified Fire Authority’s bomb squad detonated the device and the Sheriff’s Office collected the leftover pieces as evidence. An investigation is underway as law enforcement officials attempt to collect fingerprints to identify a suspect.
If caught, Wright said, the suspect could face federal charges, in addition to those filed by the state.
“When there is an explosive device that is found and if we find the person responsible, we will always reach out to the federal government and appropriate agencies, such as the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) and Homeland Security,” Wright said. “It’s very concerning to us as law enforcement. Not only is it dangerous for the public, but also for the responders. It puts many people at risk of injury or death.”
Wright said no similar incidents have been recently reported. However, in April, a man contacted dispatch after finding what he thought were blasting caps near a North Summit road.
“It makes us wonder what the overall intention of this person was and we want to make sure that we follow any lead or wherever the evidence of this device leads us,” Wright said. “We need to figure out why it was done and address it appropriately, whether it’s with state or federal charges.”
Anyone with information can contact the Summit County Sheriff’s office at 435-615-3600.
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.