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News Maryland Anne Arundel County Glen Burnie

Glen Burnie bomb suspect told police he 'blew off his pants'

Todd Dwight Wheeler Jr., accused of making bombs in his Glen Burnie home, set off a device so powerful that it "blew off his pants," according to federal documents.

According to federal court documents, a U.S. magistrate judge granted a warrant to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to search several computers, phones and cameras seized from Wheeler's home.

Wheeler has been held at the Jennifer Road Detention Center in Annapolis since Jan. 3, when he was arrested and charged with possessing destructive devices. He's since been indicted by a grand jury in Anne Arundel County on more than 20 charges.

Authorities who searched Wheeler's home after he was injured in an explosion on New Year's Day said the house was filled with tools to make bombs, including chemicals, fuses and instruction materials.

They found several improvised explosive devices made from plastic containers, a pen, a prescription bottle and a silver metal container, according to charging documents. They also found hundreds of hypodermic needles, booby traps and a device used to extract oil from marijuana.

The ATF sought permission to search Wheeler's electronic devices, including three laptop computers, four cell phones, four thumb drives, a rewritable DVD drive and three cameras.

Agents intended to look for any photos or videos of Wheeler's bomb-making ingredients, testing of the bombs and records of any purchases, instructions and recipes. They also planned to search for text messages, pictures or other files that might show any co-conspirators or links to criminal or terrorist organizations.

Police officers interviewed Wheeler while he was hospitalized for a hand injury and he admitted he bought chemicals online and he previously set off five improvised explosive devices at his home, according to the ATF's application for the warrant.

The last one was the largest, at 6 inches long, Wheeler told officers. "He stated that it 'blew off his pants,'" according to the warrant application.

The ATF applied for the warrant on Jan. 17 and the court records were made public on Tuesday.

It's not clear what agents found on the devices. An ATF spokesman could not be reached on Tuesday night and a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment.

Wheeler has not been charged federally. His Anne Arundel trial is scheduled for June.

Baltimore Sun reporter Ian Duncan contributed to this story.

pwood@baltsun.com

twitter.com/pwoodreporter

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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