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Maryland man charged after bomb-making materials seized from home


Jan. 7, 2014: Bomb-making materials seized from a home in Glen Burnie, Md., are displayed at a press conference held by the Anne Arundel County Police Department and other local authorities. (Anne Arundel County Police Department)

Law enforcement officials in Maryland and the federal government say extensive damage would have resulted if homemade bombs found in the home of a 28-year-old man had detonated.

Officials with the Anne Arundel County police and fire departments and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fire Arms and Explosives on Tuesday described the devices and materials found Jan. 2 at the Glen Burnie home of Todd Dwight Wheeler Jr.

"Whatever his intentions were, the investigation prevented that from happening and prevented people from being injured," Capt. Robert Howarth, lead fire investigator in the case, said during a news conference at the county fire headquarters in Millersville, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Officers said a search of the home turned up more than 100 pounds of chemicals, including acids, fuels, oxidizers and explosive precursors. Igniters, detonators, books on explosive manufacturing and guns and knives were found, according to police. 

Wheeler was charged Thursday with manufacturing a destructive device, possessing a destructive device and reckless endangerment. He has been held at a detention center in Annapolis since Thursday on $400,000 bail, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Investigators said one of Wheeler's relatives, called 911 on New Year's Day reporting a suicidal person. Paramedics arrived at the home and found Wheeler suffering from injuries caused by "chemical or mechanical reactions," according to the newspaper.  

Anne Arundel Fire Chief Michael Cox said police, fire and federal authorities worked together "to prevent a domestic terror incident from occurring in our community."  

Wheeler's attorney declined a request for comment from The Baltimore Sun on Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click here for more from The Baltimore Sun.

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