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Desert Hot Springs man charged for allegedly possessing explosive device in car

Felony charges were filed today against a man who was allegedly driving around with an “improvised explosive device,” which sheriff’s deputies discovered when they searched his pickup truck during a traffic stop in unincorporated Desert Hot Springs.

Norman Bell, 55, of Desert Hot Springs, was arrested Saturday afternoon after being pulled over by deputies near Little Morongo and Dillon roads. Deputies did not specify the type of device, saying only that it was found inside Bell’s truck about 4:30 p.m. following the traffic stop.

Read: Desert Hot Springs man arrested for possession of IED

The discovery prompted a response from the sheriff’s hazardous device team, which “took possession of the device and rendered it safe,” Deputy Armando Munoz said.

Bell was booked into the Riverside County jail in Indio but was released on his own recognizance Thursday.

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He pleaded not guilty Thursday to one felony count each of unlawful possession of a destructive or explosive device and altering or forging his vehicle registration and a misdemeanor count of possession of controlled substances. He will return to court Jan. 23 for a felony settlement conference.

Court records indicate Bell has no prior criminal record in Riverside County.

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