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GP police seek info on man trying to make explosives

Suspect in police custody also charged with four counts of first-degree aggravated animal abuse
Erik Pederson

A Grants Pass man was arrested Monday after he allegedly made bomb threats against an unidentified target in that community.

Erik Rohan Pederson, Jr., 19, was arrested after police determined he may have committed other offenses once a search was conducted at his residence in the 1700 block of Harbeck Road.

Pederson is being charged with four counts of first-degree aggravated animal abuse, one count of unlawful use of a weapon and two misdemeanors: menacing and attempting to produce or assemble a destructive device, according to a court document filed by the Josephine County District Attorney’s Office.

Pederson is being held in the Josephine County Jail on $100,000 bail, set Wednesday in Josephine County Circuit Court by Judge Brandon Thueson.

Grants Pass police reported earlier this week that detectives had “uncovered other incidents” that prompted them to obtain a search warrant.

“Inside the residence police located evidence of animal abuse, chemicals, recipes for destructive devices and equipment necessary for creating destructive devices,” police stated in a press release.

Most of the felony charges against Pederson are based on his allegedly killing and cutting up a juvenile relative’s pet mice, then “placing some of their heads in (a refrigerator) and smearing blood in the kitchen,” a police probable cause affidavit noted.

The same report said he sent family members “photos of the mutilated mice” and that the reason for the suspect’s actions was a dispute with the younger relative.

Raising a steak knife at an adult family member and flinching toward that person “in a threatening manner” is the basis for the felony weapons charge, another probable cause affidavit explained.

A count of strangulation was dropped.

Pederson’s next court appearance is scheduled for Monday.

The police “like to encourage the reporting of concerning behaviors, such as animal abuse and violence, as they can be indicators of escalating dangers.”

While police stressed there is no ongoing threat to the community, they asked that anyone with further information regarding Pederson and “his activities involving chemicals or explosives” call the Grants Pass Police Department at 541-450-6260.