Man with Magnum Pistol, Explosives Arrested

MOUNTAIN CENTER – A convicted felon allegedly caught with explosives and a gun on a forest road near Mountain Center was behind bars today.

Marc Morris, 44, of Hemet was booked on suspicion of illegal possession of explosives, being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and probation violations at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, with bail set at $15,000.

According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, wardens from the California Department of Fish and Game patrolling a dirt road near Highway 74 and state Route 243 came into contact with Morris alone in his vehicle around 7 a.m. Sunday. Suspicious about his reasons for being there, the wardens asked for permission to search the suspect’s vehicle, which he granted.

After allegedly locating a loaded .44-caliber pistol and explosive materials in the car, the wardens requested the help of the sheriff’s Hazardous Devices Team, which safely disarmed an undisclosed mechanism, sheriff’s officials said.

A search of the suspect’s residence did not turn up any additional explosives, according to the sheriff’s department.

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