Police, FBI arrest Tremonton man in bomb plot

Saturday , July 12, 2014 - 7:56 AM

Standard-Examiner staff

TREMONTON - A joint investigation between local police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has led to the arrest of a man they say threatened to bomb several targets, including the Tremonton Police Department in order to instigate an uprising against the government.

John Huggins, 47, was under surveillance by the FBI after an anonymous tip came into local police that he was planning to blow up his Bible study group. Police say they learned that he was allegedly planning to blow up the police department along with several bridges and infrastructure points to prevent assistance from showing up, according to court documents.

Huggins had allegedly targeted two police officers to kill before initiating his plan.

Police say Huggins goal was to get the community to rise up in defiance of the government.

An informant for the police met with Huggins several times to discussed explosives. The informant purchased a USB drive from Huggins containing various plans to manufacture drugs, explosives and booby traps.

Huggins showed the informant a home-made explosive, built out of a 5-Hour Energy bottle, held together by glue and covered with shrapnel. 

On Thursday, an undercover agent made contact with Huggins, posing as like-minded individual with an interest in explosives. The agent was able to convince Huggins to sell him schematics on explosives and agreed to build him one.

After the meeting, Huggins was arrested.

A search warrant on his home revealed the grenade-like, explosive device. Bomb technicians determined that the device was not armed with the chemicals needed, but could still function with the ingredients in Huggins’ home.

Huggins was indicted in U.S. District Court on the charge of possession an unregistered destructive device. The maximum penalty if found guilty is 10 years in prison. 

The case will be reviewed by a grand jury who may decide to press additional charges.

Huggins has had multiple run ins with police, including drug and weapon charges in the past decade. The Cache County Bomb Squad has dealt with disarming Huggins’ explosives before.

Huggins will remain in custody until a detention hearing on July 15.

Contact reporter Andreas Rivera at 801-625-4227 or arivera@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @SE_Andreas.

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