Explosive device found, detonated near Milaca shopping center - New York News

Explosive device found, detonated near Milaca, Minn., shopping center

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Police are investigating the discovery of an explosive device near a shopping center in Milaca, Minn.

The device -- a bomb containing nails, gun powder and kerosene -- was discovered during a traffic stop near the intersection of Highway 169 and Highway 23 on Tuesday morning.

Earlier in the day, a deputy stopped issued a warning for speeding to 41-year-old Shannon Patrick Lemon, of Zimmerman. During the stop, the deputy said he noticed Lemon was emotional -- nervous and angry, specifically -- and the propane cylinder in his vehicle seemed suspicious.

The deputy contacted undercover North Central Drug Task Force agents who began watch the vehicle as it headed south on Highway 169. While under surveillance, officials said Lemon made an "indecisive turning decision" and officials conducted a second stop to investigate at 10 a.m.

Investigators learned that Lemon was traveling from the Pine Center area for a meeting with his probation agent in Elk River when he was stopped. While he was being questioned, a K-9 officer was called to search the vehicle after Lemon gave his consent.

In the search, police found an explosive device and possible burglary tools. Lemon confirmed the device was a bomb made with nails, gun powder, kerosene and a 12-volt cigarette-lighter attachment that would have detonated the device. He was then taken into custody.

The Minnesota State Patrol, along with law enforcement agencies in Milaca, Princeton, and Mille Lacs County, closed off the intersection after employees of Thrivent Financial, Maple Ridge Mall, Dairy Queen, Barbara Jean's, Holiday and Subway were informed that a bomb threat had been made. Officers evacuated the area at about 10 a.m. By 3 p.m., the highways were reopened.

Mille Lacs County Sheriff Brent Lindgren said Lemon apparently intended to attempt suicide by using the explosive device inside his vehicle, but it is unknown where he likely would have struck.

The Crow Wing County Bomb Squad was called to neutralize the device. Lindgren said the bomb was detonated and investigators have collected the evidence they need to pursue criminal charges.

Lemon has a long history with law enforcement, according to a responding officer.

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