Alleged improvised explosives found during a Portage traffic stop led to charges for a father and son. Police said the men told officials the explosives were for fun and not intended to harm anyone.
Nicholas R. Engle, 22, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Todd R. Engle, 56, Monona, have each been charged with a single count of possession of improvised explosives, a class H felony, in separate cases in Columbia County.
Both were also charged with possession of THC and possession of drug paraphernalia, both are misdemeanor counts. Nicholas Engle remains in custody on $5,000 cash bond. Todd Engle is charged with felony bail jumping linked to a 2019 possession with intent to deliver THC charge in Dane County. Online records show Todd Engle has posted his $6,000 bond and is out of custody.
According to the criminal complaint, the pair were stopped by a Columbia County Sheriff’s Deputy on Highway 33 near County Road U in the city of Portage on Aug. 31. Todd Engle was driving the vehicle, which was registered to him.
Deputy Dan Medina reported Todd Engle told him there was marijuana in the glove box, along with a bong and a wooden dugout. Medina searched the vehicle and located two baggies and the pipes.
Sheriff’s Deputy Ron Stage assisted with searching the vehicle. He allegedly found two homemade explosive devices in the pocket behind the front passenger seat. Deputy Medina also located a number of explosive devices.
The explosives were located in luggage in the backseat of the vehicle. The devices were labeled “160” and Medina believed it was a reference to the strength of the explosive. There was a tin labeled “Milky Way”, another device labeled “M320” and a container of gun powder.
Nicholas Engle allegedly admitted to making the explosives. He told the Medina it was for fun and that they did not intend on hurting anyone. The pair told Medina they were in the process of moving to Arizona.
Todd Engle had his initial appearance on Sept. 2 in Columbia County in front of Judge Tony Cross when standard felony conditions were set. He will have his preliminary hearing Sept. 10 in front of Judge Cross. Nicholas Engle remains in custody in Columbia County Jail. He is scheduled for a bail/bond hearing for Sept. 10.