Crime, Police/Fire

Mount Airy man charged after ‘improvised destructive device’ found in vehicle near Carney school

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CARNEY, MD—A Mount Airy man has been charged after an “improvised destructive device” was found outside of a Carney school on Tuesday afternoon.

Joseph Richard Vickery, 43, of Mount Airy, is facing several charges, including felony possession of explosive material with intent to create destructive device, manufacture of possession of destructive device, and possession of explosive material without a license.

Officials evacuated Pine Grove Middle School on Old Harford Road at around noon on Tuesday after the device was found inside of a vehicle belonging to Vickery across the street from the entrance to the school.

Vickery reportedly also had a homemade bomb in his motel room in the Woodlawn area.  He was found with a loaded handgun in his vehicle near Pine Grove Middle School.

The charging documents say that police in Mount Airy were alerted to a man attempting to make a homemade explosive device, according to WJZ. Officers were alerted that Kristen Vickery, 39, who is facing a misdemeanor drug charge, texted her mother to tell her that she saw Vickery looking up how to make explosive devices.

Police then pinged Vickery’s phone, which led them to the Rodeway Inn on Whitehead Court in Woodlawn. He was then arrested in front of Pine Grove Middle School on Tuesday afternoon. He informed police that there was an explosive device in his vehicle.

Pine Grove Middle School was evacuated and several roads were closed near the school as well as in the Woodlawn/Gwynn Oak area. Pine Grove Elementary School was evacuated later in the day and afternoon school bus service was disrupted throughout much of the county.

Mount Airy Police Chief Doug Reitz told the Baltimore Sun that his department had been investigating a suspect in a theft case when an officer got information that the suspect may have been researching and purchasing materials for an explosive device. They contacted other authorities and ultimately used cell records to find his location in Baltimore County.

Both suspects are currently being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Police say it does not appear that the school was the intended target during this incident.

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels

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