$2 million bail set for man after raid

THE BALTIMORE SUN

A 60-year-old Baltimore man was ordered held on $2 million bail yesterday by a District Court commissioner on charges including reckless endangerment after police reported seizing firearms and about 80 pounds of gunpowder from his Highlandtown rowhouse.

Lovell A. Wheeler was arrested after detectives and federal agents searched his house in the 500 block of S. East Ave. on Tuesday and found the gunpowder, nearly 100 firearms in various stages of assembly, 14 rifles, eight handguns and thousands of rounds of ammunition, city police said.

Because the gunpowder was being stored improperly -- in bleach bottles, antifreeze bottles and paint-thinner cans -- it might have exploded and caused serious damage to the home and others, police said.

Hate literature also was seized, and police said Wheeler was a member of National Alliance, a white supremacist group.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, National Alliance is the largest and most active neo-Nazi organization in the United States and has about 1,500 members.

The Anti-Defamation League, which closely tracks supremacist groups, reports on its Web site that the National Alliance believes that "all of Europe, 'the temperate zones of the Americas,' Australia and the southern tip of Africa should be purged of all nonwhites."

"He was very loud, ... and most of us were afraid of him," said neighbor Carol Zielinski, 32.

Police said they raided the house Tuesday after receiving a tip that Wheeler was making weapons in his basement.

Wheeler, a former Bethlehem Steel Corp. machinist, was arrested at his workplace, Owens-Brockway Plastic Products in the 200 block of Kane St., police said.

Detectives said in court documents that they found six high-velocity rounds of ammunition in his pocket.

He was charged with having 80 pounds of gunpowder not stored in an original container, possessing gunpowder without a required license and reckless endangerment.

A bail review hearing was scheduled for today.

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