Boston police officer charged with stealing explosives

Dr. Q

The Boston Herald reports:

A Boston police officer is set to be arraigned this morning in Plymouth District Court on charges he stole military-grade explosives and stored them in his Plymouth home, officials said.

Officer Kirk Merricks was arrested last night and charged with 11 counts of possession of an explosive device, four counts of receiving stolen property and one count of illegal possession of ammunition, Plymouth Police Chief Michael E. Botieri said.

Plymouth officers were called to Merricks’ home shortly after 2 p.m. yesterday when a resident there discovered what she believed were suspicious items, Botieri said.

Boston police said Merricks was placed on administrative leave with pay following last night’s arrest.

I wish my job would give me a paid vacation if I was arrested for stealing military-grade explosives.

Update (same day as original post: The Boston Globe has more information:

The [Plymouth police] chief said Merricks’ estranged wife contacted his department on Thursday after she found what she feared were explosives in parts of the house and in a shed on the couple’s home on Paddington Way.

The State Police Bomb Squad and Plymouth police searched the property and discovered the explosives, which included at least one hand grenade, explosive detonation cords, blasting caps and a former of TNT explosive, the chief said.

Neighbors were asked to stay inside their homes, but were not evacuated during the search, the chief said.

He said his officers are currently trying to track the history of the recovered munitions, but said detectives believe they were stolen because they are military-grade, and not publicly available.

“They are obviously not anything that civilians should possess,’’ Botieri said. “We believe it’s all stolen. It’s not something you can go out and buy without the correct permits.’’

According to a law enforcement source familiar with the invesitgation, the military-grade devices found in the Plymouth home are not the kind used by the Boston police department.

In addition, Botteiri said, his officers were called to the Paddington Way home where they found Merricks and his wife engaged in a heated argument. Officers left without making an arrest, but the chief said Merricks’ wife has since obtained a restraining order barring Merricks from living in the Paddington Way home.

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