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Eye-Popping Cache of Explosives, Bomb Manuals Found in Md. Home

A Maryland man was being held on $400,000 bond Tuesday after local, state and federal authorities discovered working bombs, more than 100 pounds of bomb-making chemicals and numerous manuals for creating bombs and booby traps in his home, police said.

The man, Todd Dwight Wheeler Jr., 28, of Glen Burnie, in the Washington suburbs, was held on two counts of making explosives, two counts of possessing explosive materials and one single count of reckless endangerment. Federal charges were pending.

Anne Arundel County police said they had no idea what Wheeler might have been planning, because he's refusing to cooperate, but authorities said the bombs, if exploded, would have a blast radius of more than 150 feet.

Todd Dwight Wheeler Jr. was held on two counts of manufacturing a destructive device, two counts of possessing a destructive device and one count of reckless endangerment.

"He was making bombs, and he was making explosives," Anne Arundel County fire Capt. Robert Howarth said at a news conference Tuesday.

Wheeler was arrested New Year's Day after police were called to his address by a relative who was concerned that he might be suicidal, police said in a statement Tuesday. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was called in, and in the past week, authorities have been removing and cataloging all of the dangerous materials, which they showed off to reporters:

  • Numerous completed bombs.
  • More than 100 pounds of chemicals, including acids, fuels, oxidizers and explosives precursors.
  • Glass jars labeled "ammonium chloride," sulfur" and "potassium chlorate."
  • Instruction manuals and books detailing explosive manufacturing and booby traps, with titles like "The Poor Man's James Bond," "Deadly Brew" and "Highly Explosive Pyrotechnic Compositions."
  • Miscellaneous weapons, including an automatic Ruger Mini-14 rifle, other guns and knives.

"The potential damage to any of the homes in the vicinity the residence would have been extensive if any of the devices would have detonated," the fire department said.