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Boston Police Officer Arrested In Plymouth For Possession Of Military Grade Explosives

PLYMOUTH (CBS/AP) – A Boston police officer is free on $1,000 bail after police in Plymouth say they found a cache of military grade explosives in a shed at his former home.

Kirk Merricks, 43, of Dorchester, was charged Friday with 11 counts of possession of explosives, along with theft and ammunition charges.

Police say they received a call on Thursday from the homeowner, identified as Merricks' estranged wife, saying she was cleaning out a bedroom closet and found four ¼ sticks of TNT and assorted ammunition in a metal box marked "highly explosive."

The bomb squad responded to the home on Paddington Way, where explosives experts recovered a briefcase from a shed outside the home that had "a bandolier that contained four military-grade M203 rounds, six detonator cords with attached blasting caps and two rolls of timed fused cord connected to non-electric fixing mechanisms," District Attorney's office reported.

Merricks is accused of stealing those explosives and storing them in the shed.

Plymouth Chief Michael Botieri says investigators think the items were stolen because they are military grade and not available for purchase by the general public.

While Merricks is licensed to carry Boston police-issued ammunition, ammo possession charges were also filed because the ammunition that was recovered was not police-issued, according to investigators.

Boston police have placed Merricks on paid administrative leave and taken away his handgun and badge. He has worked for the department since 1999.

Merricks was released on bail and the case was continued until a probable cause hearing on September 10.

If convicted, he could face up to 27 years in prison.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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