MILACA, Minn. (WCCO) — The Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office says an explosive device was found during a traffic stop near Onamia Tuesday morning.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, a Mille Lacs County Deputy stopped a vehicle on Highway 169 outside Onamia for speeding. The driver has been identified as 41-year-old Shannon Patrick Lemon of Zimmerman.
During the traffic stop, the deputy observed unusual emotion, nervous and anger coming from Lemon. A propane cylinder was also discovered in the vehicle. The deputy, suspicious of Lemon’s motives, let him leave and alerted undercover North Central Drug Task Force Agents (NCDTF), who initiated surveillance of the vehicle.
While under NCDTF surveillance, the vehicle exited 169, making an indecisive turning decision in Milaca on US Highway 23. There, the NCDTF agent decided to stop the vehicle and investigate the vehicle.
In a K-9 and consent search of the vehicle, agents discovered an explosive device, possible burglary tools and a propane cylinder. Lemon confirmed that the device was a bomb with nails, gun powder, kerosene and an electronic detonation device, authorities said. Lemon was then taken into custody by deputies.
The surrounding area was then cordoned off and area businesses were evacuated.
The bomb was detonated by Bomb Squad members. Highways and businesses were reopened at 3 p.m.
Authorities say Lemon was apparently going to attempt suicide by using the gas and explosive device. Where he may have done this is unknown, but he was apparently coming from the Pine Center area in Crow Wing County heading for a meeting with his probation agent in Elk River when he was stopped.
Investigators are collecting the needed evidence to present to the Mille Lacs County Attorney’s office for review of criminal charges.