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Homemade Bomb-Maker Pleads Guilty in Federal Court

Todd Wheeler of Glen Burnie pleaded guilty in federal court to illegal possession of firearms.

Todd Wheeler Jr. pleads guilty in federal court. Photo Credit: File|Patch
Todd Wheeler Jr. pleads guilty in federal court. Photo Credit: File|Patch
Todd Wheeler Jr., 28, the Glen Burnie man who faced more than 20 charges from Anne Arundel County for possessing over 100 pounds of explosive materials and a federal gun crime, has pleaded guilty in federal court.

According to The Baltimore Sun, Wheeler pleaded guilty to the federal charge on Thursday and could receive up to 10 years in prison when sentenced in September.

Anne Arundel County prosecutors are expected to drop over 20 state charges after the federal conviction, the newspaper reported.

Wheeler was arrested in January when police found homemade explosives and materials in Wheeler’s home, and Wheeler had been modifying a flare gun to shoot these explosives, according to a previous Patch story.

The devices found in his home were capable of “maiming, injuring or killing,” according to Fire Chief Michael Cox.

Investigations had begun on New Year’s Day when Wheeler had gone to the Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie for a burn on his left hand, according to a statement of facts read in court by Assistant U.S. Attorney A. David Copperthite.

Wheeler had allegedly tried to flee from the hospital but was stopped by investigators and eventually told them he had set off five improvised explosive devices in his home. The last one “blew off his pants,” court documents said.

Wheeler was charged with a federal offense for gun possession on May 12, according to the most recent Patch story. Police had found a Walther model SP22 pistol, a Greco signal flare launcher and signal pistol insert, a Spikes tactical signal launcher and other devices in Wheeler’s home.

The Baltimore Sun reported that Wheeler was prohibited from owning firearms because he had previously used illegal drugs that dated to at least 2006.

Wheeler is currently serving the remainder of a nine-month sentence for violating probation on a 2012 charge of driving while impaired. He will be sentenced for the federal crime on Sept. 8.

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