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Charges: Man who wanted to kill cop had guns, explosive materials, body armor

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A Utah man who allegedly told friends he wanted to kill an officer is charged with having guns, ammunition, body armor and materials to make explosives.

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SALT LAKE CITY — Guns, materials to make explosives and stolen police body armor was found in the home of a Vernal man who had stated he wanted to kill a police officer, according to court documents.

Michael Dallas Rowley, 37, was charged Tuesday in 8th District Court with possession of explosive parts, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon by a restricted person and child endangerment, all third-degree felonies; drug possession, a class A misdemeanor; drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and theft by receiving stolen property, all class B misdemeanors.

On Feb. 23, while investigating a possible assault, Uintah County Sheriff’s deputies learned that Rowley might have firearms and drugs inside his home, according to charging documents. Rowley is prohibited from having guns or ammunition due to prior convictions, the charges state.

Deputies obtained a search warrant to go through Rowley’s house and “found body armor, ammunition, items used to construct explosive devices including gun powder, pipe fittings, BBs, washers and pyrotechnic cartridges,” as well as “body armor which belonged to the sheriff’s department and had been stolen, pipes with methamphetamine residue, raw marijuana, bongs, more pipes and marijuana seeds,” according to the charges.

The stolen sheriff's body armor was found in a bedroom closet that had a “hidden doorway to access the subfloor crawl space,” according to a police affidavit filed when Rowley was arrested.

Police later served a second search warrant on outbuildings on the property and found a shotgun and two rifles, along with more ammunition, the charges state. Witnesses told deputies they had heard Rowley say “he wanted to kill an officer,” according to the charges.