An Anne Arundel County judge agreed Thursday to drop state charges against a man accused of building bombs in his Glen Burnie home.
Todd Dwight Wheeler Jr. pleaded guilty in May to one federal firearms charge and faces up to 10 years in federal prison when he's sentenced in September.
Given Wheeler's federal plea, Anne Arundel County assistant state's attorney Jason G. Miller asked Judge Paul A. Hackner to drop the local charges during a hearing in Anne Arundel Circuit Court. Neither Wheeler nor his attorney was present for the hearing, which lasted less than a minute.
Fire and police investigators began investigating Wheeler on New Year's Day when he burned his left hand and was taken to Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie for treatment.
Wheeler, 28, tried to flee the hospital, but was stopped and eventually spoke with investigators. He told agents he had set off five improvised explosive devices at his home and the last one "blew off his pants," according to federal court documents.
Investigators searched Wheeler's home in the Harundale neighborhood for two days, finding jars filled with chemical powders, a dozen homemade bombs, two improvised detonators, needles and a signal launcher.
Four of the homemade explosive devices and a pistol, flare gun and tactical signal launcher met the federal definition of a firearm, which Wheeler was prohibited from having because of his drug use, according to federal court documents.
Wheeler was arrested Jan. 3 and was charged in Anne Arundel County on more than two dozen counts of making and owning explosive devices, as well as other charges. Wheeler has been jailed since January and is completing a sentence for violating probation in a driving while impaired case before his federal sentencing.
Investigators and prosecutors have not offered any motive behind Wheeler's activities. Wheeler's attorney has declined to comment until the legal proceedings are complete. Wheeler has said little in his various court hearings, mostly answering routine questions about whether he understands the proceedings.
twitter.com/pwoodreporterCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun