FAIRFIELD – A Fairfield man was arrested on Friday, February 16 after officials found evidence of drugs and what was suspected to be an explosive device in his home.
According to the Fairfield Sun Times, the Teton County Sheriff’s Office secured and closed off the 200 block of 3rd Street North in Fairfield.
Fairfield School went into lockdown and families were advised to remain in their homes due to concerns over an explosive device.
Teton County Sheriff Keith Van Setten said the events were the result of a request by Conrad-based Montana Department of Corrections Probation and Parole Officer Cody Shaw.
The Fairfield Sun Times article states that Shaw had received a tip that Steven Johnson, the resident of 212 3rd Street North, was in possession of dangerous drugs and was violating his parole.
After securing Johnson’s home and obtaining a search warrant, officers found evidence of drugs, believed to be methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, a firearm, and what officers suspected to be an explosive device.
The ATF (Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) office in Helena was alerted. ATF suggested officers contact Malmstrom Air Force Base to assist in removing the device.
According to Van Setten, the device is reported to be a “mine slurry” or type of explosive charge used in the mining industry.
Van Setten said there is a variety of explosives identified as mine slurries and officers didn’t know whether the device, if set off, was capable of “destroying two or three rooms in the home or two or three homes.”
Van Setten told the Fairfield Sun Times that the explosive was about one inch in diameter and 12 to 14 inches long.
ATF arrived on scene later and took possession of the device.
According to the sheriff, Johnson had been released from prison in November.
He was to be formally charged on Tuesday for possession of dangerous drugs, drug paraphernalia, felon in possession of a firearm, and the explosive device.
Johnson’s girlfriend, Jessica Jensen, will be charged with possession of a dangerous drug and intent to distribute.