GIBSON CITY, Ill. (WCIA) — The execution of an arrest warrant near Gibson City over the weekend resulted in the discovery and detonation of several explosive and incendiary devices, the Ford County Sheriff’s Office announced.
Ford County Sheriff Chad Johnson said in a press release that his deputies were sent to the property of James Watterson, 34, on Saturday to arrest him on a charge of aggravated assault. Ford County State’s Attorney Andrew Killian approved the charge the previous day, accusing Watterson of threatening law enforcement officers, their families and others on Thursday.
After Watterson was arrested, law enforcement conducted a search of Watterson’s property authorized by a judge in connection to the assault case. That search turned up a gun and “numerous rounds of ammunition,” along with “suspicious” devices.
The discovery of the devices prompted Johnson to call the University of Illinois Police Bomb Squad for assistance. After the devices were examined and documented, Johnson said it was determined the best course of action was to detonate them on site.
Johnson thanked the deputies involved for “their diligence and professionalism under a very stressful and dangerous situation.” He also thanked the Ford County State’s Attorney, officers from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Gibson City and Paxton Police Departments and the U of I Police Bomb Squad for their assistance.
“With the help of all of these departments we were able to resolve this incident without injury to anyone,” Johnson said.