Anne Arundel County

Man charged with making bombs in Glen Burnie house

Investigators from the Anne Arundel Fire Department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives say they have found a significant amount of suspected bombs and bomb-making materials inside the home of a Glen Burnie man.

Authorities charged Todd Wheeler Jr., 28 with several counts related to making and possessing destructive devices, and they say more charges are pending against him after they spent two days combing through his single-story home.


Lt. Russ Davies of the county fire department said on Saturday that local and federal investigators had completed their work at the house, and would be analyzing the material. He said they were looking at the possibility that the house may have been booby-trapped.

Investigators began to search Wheeler's home in the 900 block of Edgerly Road at 11:10 a.m. Thursday after he was treated the day before at Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie for injuries caused by chemical or mechanical reactions, according to Division Chief Keith Swindle, an Anne Arundel fire spokesman.


Local fire investigators and ATF agents spent hours going through Wheeler's home on Thursday, briefly closing down the street until they determined that neighbors were safe. They resumed the investigation Friday, and Swindle said officials could be at the house for days.

Ken Ryan, a spokesman for the ATF, said investigators continued to find more suspected bombs and bomb-making materials during their hours of searching the home. He had no estimate of how many devices or materials had been found in the house, what they were made of or how powerful they were.

"As the investigation continues, the evidence continues to mount," Ryan said.

Investigators are expected to be at the house for days cataloging evidence and processing the explosives, he said. More charges are pending as they collect evidence, he said.

Investigators have not yet been able to determine a motive.

According to charging documents, investigators found a number of explosive-making materials the first day of their investigation, including powders, chlorates, perchlorates, ammonium nitrate, canisters and other chemicals.

Wheeler was charged with two counts of possessing destructive devices, two counts of manufacturing destructive devices and one count of reckless endangerment.

"There are multiple devices and evidence located within the home," Swindle said.


In the living room, investigators found a "destructive device" that consisted of a 37 mm round modified with explosives, according to charging documents. They also found a cardboard tube with explosive material and a fuse, described in charging documents as "an improvised destructive device."

"Both devices contained an amount of explosives that if detonated could have caused destruction to the home and result in the additional damage to people and property of the surrounding homes," a fire investigator wrote in charging documents.

Ryan said the case so far remained under the state and he was unsure if it would move to federal court.

Davies said a woman who apparently also lived in the house was being questioned, but no charges had been brought against her. He declined to release her name.

He said police, fire and ATF officials expect to hold a joint news conference early next week on the progress of the investigation.

Wheeler was being held at the Jennifer Road Detention Center in Annapolis on $400,000 bail. He has also been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court records.


Wheeler did not have a significant criminal history in Maryland, according to court records. He has a court date this month for driving without a license, according to online records. He also pleaded guilty last year to charges including speeding and driving without proper tags. He was fined $300.

In 2012, he pleaded guilty to driving while impaired by drugs and was sentenced to a one-year suspended sentence, according to online records.

Messages left late Friday with a law office that has represented Wheeler in the past were not immediately returned.

Wheeler has owned the home, which is about one block from the North County Library in the Harundale community, since 2010, according to property records.

Baltimore Sun reporters Arthur Hirsch and Carrie Wells contributed to this report.