WASHBURN COUNTY -- Criminal charges have been filed against a Spooner, WI man following a lengthy, multi-agency investigation regarding an explosive device that was found along the Wild Rivers Trail just south of the City of Spooner, WI in November 2020.

A criminal complaint has been filed against Jason Miller, of Spooner, WI, after law enforcement’s investigation into the explosive device connected the device to Miller.

Washburn County Sheriff’s Office and Spooner Police Department responded to a report of a possible explosive device on November 2, 2020. The device was found to be a cylinder wrapped in black duct tape with a wick that was several inches long, according to the criminal complaint filed against Miller.

Assistance from the Marathon County Bomb Squad was requested. After the Bomb Squad arrived, an x-ray of the device was conducted, which showed the device to be filled with a powder but no fragments.

The device was detonated by the authorities, and although that projected it over the trail, it did not fully explode. The remnants were sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for processing. The powder inside consisted of compounds used to make explosive devices, according to the criminal complaint. The FBI Latent Print Laboratory examined the tape which had wrapped the container and found a fingerprint. This fingerprint was identified as belonging to Jason Miller.

On March 2, 2021, a search warrant was executed at Miller’s residence in Spooner, WI. The criminal complaint states that in Miller’s room Investigators located numerous bags and boxes containing explosive compounds; a roll of duct tape; and a blender containing residue of the explosive compounds.

Miller was taken into custody, and after waiving his right to an attorney, MIller told Investigators that he used the compounds to make rocket motors, according to the criminal complaint. Miller said that in the fall of 2020 he took some parts of rocket motors and put them inside a container; later wrapping it, adding a wick, and then taking it out to the Wild Rivers Trail to light it and have it “shoot sparks”. He went on to say that after he lit the wick, he moved away from the device, however it didn’t “go off”. Miller stated that he was not able to locate the device after that and ultimately left the area.

Reports from the FBI identified the device as an ‘IED’ which if “properly assembled and initiated, the resulting explosions from this IED could cause property damages, personal injury, or death“, according to the criminal complaint filed against Miller. Tests conducted by the FBI did not locate any rocket tops inside the device as indicated in Miller’s statement.

Miller is charged with Class H Felony Possession of Improvised Explosives. At a hearing on March 3, 2021, the Court placed Miller on a $2,500 cash bond. Miller made an initial appearance regarding his charges on March 29, 2021 and is set to appear again in May 2021.

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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