Merced bomb unit disarms suspected explosive, one arrested

January 10, 2014 

A 32-year-old Merced man was arrested Friday after the Merced Police Department’s bomb squad disarmed a firecracker that had reportedly been refashioned into a suspected explosive on Loughborough Drive.

Police Sgt. Joe Weiss said the suspect altered a “Piccolo Pete” firecracker and added “shrapnel” to the device. “It was modified into a destructive device that was clearly intended to do some damage,” Weiss said.

The police bomb unit responded around 3:30 p.m. to the 600 block of Loughborough Drive and disposed of the device without incident, police said.

Anthony Winstead, 32, was booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of possession of destructive device and several narcotics allegations, Merced police said.

Winstead was held was without bail for a suspected parole violation, officials said. Details of his parole and prior conviction were not available Friday.

The device was discovered by Merced County Probation officers who were working in the area, Sgt. Alan Ward said.

No one was injured.

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