COURTS & LEGAL

West Valley man charged with having 9 jars of explosive materials in his car

Feb 21, 2024, 2:33 PM | Updated: 2:35 pm

Judge's gavel...

(Stock image)

(Stock image)

SALT LAKE CITY — A West Valley man who police say caused two businesses to be evacuated in downtown Salt Lake City is accused of having mason jars in his car filled with a mixture of materials designed to make explosives.

Arthur Lloyd Palmer, 51, was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with two counts of recklessness with an incendiary device and two counts of assault on a police officer, second-degree felonies; and seven counts of possession of incendiary explosive device parts, a third-degree felony.

On Feb. 10, Palmer was pulled over by Salt Lake police near 824 S. State for having an expired registration. After running a background check, officers learned that Palmer had a warrant out for his arrest in Arizona for being a non-compliant sex offender.

But when police asked Palmer to step out of his car, he produced a knife, prompting officers to draw their guns and order him to drop the weapon, the charges state. He eventually dropped the knife and was taken into custody.

“When asked if there was anything in the vehicle that the police should be aware of … he replied that there were explosives. He explained that he had Molotov cocktails in mason jars that were in the back seat of his car,” according to the charges. “He told officers that they should get away from his car because he had active explosives and ingredients.”

Two nearby businesses were evacuated as the city’s bomb squad responded to the scene. Nine mason jars with materials “which are components to an explosive device” were found, police say. “Two of those mason jars also contained fuel, making them actual Molotov cocktails,” according to the charges.

“He explained to detectives that he was dabbling with explosives with the information he gathered from the Anarchist Cookbook, a book with revolutionary intent,” the charges state.

Police say Palmer has been living in Utah since 2021.

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West Valley man charged with having 9 jars of explosive materials in his car