GLEN BURNIE, Md. - A Glen Burnie man pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to having firearms, including explosives, following a New Year’s Day incident in which he caused an explosion at his grandmother’s home.
Todd Wheeler, 28, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles has scheduled sentencing for Sept. 8.
On Jan. 1, Wheeler was treated at an area hospital for injuries. He told hospital officials he was injured in an explosion when he was attempting to make fireworks. Wheeler attempted to run from the emergency room, but was apprehended by police.
Police were directed to the home of Wheeler’s grandmother in Millersville. She confirmed that Wheeler often stayed there and gave police permission to search the home and an outbuilding located on her property.
Officers found chemicals used to manufacture high explosives, as well as other explosive materials. Investigators learned that Wheeler received packages at that address and stored the materials in the outbuilding.
A search at Wheeler’s home turned up several improvised explosive devices, as well as the chemicals and explosive materials used to make them, drugs and drug paraphernalia, a Walther pistol, flare gun and signal flare launcher, a conversion kit to allow the launcher to shoot 12 gauge shotgun shells and 12 gauge shotgun shells.
Further investigation revealed that Wheeler had a history of drug addiction dating back to at least 2006. At the time of the incident, Wheeler was on probation for driving under the influence of a controlled substance, and he tested positive for seven different controlled substances in a drug test conducted by his state probation officer shortly before the incident.