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Utah man arrested in bomb plot to cause uprising against government

(Reuters) - A Utah man has been arrested in connection with a plot to blow up a police station, kill police officers and destroy infrastructure to delay an emergency response, authorities said.

John Huggins, 47, believed that the plan, once carried out, would spark an anti-government uprising, according to documents lodged with a Federal Utah court on Friday.

Huggins was charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device in connection with the plot, the state's U.S. Attorney's Office said on Friday.

The Tremonton Police Department was tipped off to the plot in February and launched an investigation with the FBI, prosecutors said. The probe found that Huggins planned to bomb the station and kill two officers, they said.

Huggins also planned to blow up bridges and other infrastructure to slow the emergency response, court documents show.

"Huggins stated that he thought that this action would cause the community to rise up against the government," according to an affidavit filed in court.

An undercover FBI agent discussed homemade explosive devices with Huggins, who said he planned to train people how to make bombs for a few thousand dollars, prosecutors said.

Huggins had in the past made explosive devices that were detonated by a local bomb squad, the affidavit said, though it did not say when.

Huggins was arrested on Thursday in the parking lot of a restaurant after agreeing to show the FBI agent a homemade bomb, prosecutors said.

He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000 if convicted. The investigation is continuing and he could face more charges, said Melodie Rydalch, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office.

Huggins will be held in police custody until at least Tuesday, when a detention hearing is scheduled, she said.

It was not immediately clear if Huggins had legal representation.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in New York, Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Lynne O'Donnell)

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