A Springfield man is in custody after law enforcement found an explosive device in a Richland residence while conducting a drug search.

Joseph Trotter, 37, of Springfield, was charged with Unlawful Possession of an Explosive Weapon, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child Creating Substantial Risk, and Unlawful Possession, Transport, Manufacture, Repair or Sale of Illegal Weapon.

According to the probable cause statement, law enforcement found Trotter and two juvenile children under the age of 15 in the residence when they arrived with a warrant. The warrant was for a residence in the 500 block of Louise Street in Richland. 

According to court documents, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s office and Richland Police Department were conducting a narcotic investigation involving the execution of the search warrant at the Locust Street address when they found “a blue cylinder with a wick attached to the top” in the master bedroom closet of Trotter’s residence. Upon further inspection of the device, officers determined that the device was made up of black powder, BB/bearings, and PVC pipe. Officers later found a .22 caliber handgun with a magazine containing approximately 10 rounds in it. Two juvenile children were in the resident at the time. 

The children were evacuated until the Missouri Highway patrol Bomb Squad and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Division assisted with the removal of the IED. 

Trotter allegedly admitted during questioning that he made the explosive device and purchased the handgun. 

If convicted of the Unlawful Possession of an Explosive Weapon charge, Trotter could face two to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, imprisonment for a special term of no more than one year in the county jail or other authorized penal institution, a fine of no more than $10,000, or both imprisonment and a fine.

If convicted of the Unlawful Possession of a Firearm charge, Trotter could face two to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, imprisonment for no longer than one year in the county jail or other authorized penal institution, a fine of no more than $10,000, or both imprisonment and a fine.

If convicted of the Endangering the Welfare of a Child in the First Degree charge, Trotter could face two to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, imprisonment for a term no longer than one year in the county jail or other authorized penal institution, a fine of no more than $10,000, or both imprisonment and a fine for each count.

If convicted of the Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Trotter could face two to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, imprisonment for no longer than one year in the county jail or other authorized penal institution, a fine of no more than $10,000, or both imprisonment and a fine.

Trotter's bond is $250,000 cash or surety.

Trotter is a prior and persistent offender. He has pleaded guilty to or been found guilty of two or more felonies committed at different times. Those felonies are:

Possession of a Firearm in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri

Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Circuit Court of Pulaski County.