The Carroll County Drug Strike Force arrested four people at three locations Wednesday and seized 46 quarter-sticks of explosives, Sheriff John E. Brown said yesterday.
The amount of explosive material was thought to be so potent it should not be kept as evidence at the sheriff's office in the basement of the Carroll County Detention Center, Brown said.
"We called the state fire marshal for a bomb technician to get it out of here. If anything went wrong, we may have had some badly injured, even dead inmates on our hands," Brown said.
One of the suspects told deputies that he intended to go fishing with the devices, Brown said.
Bob Thomas, Maryland deputy chief fire marshal, said the quarter-sticks are not dynamite, but contain black powder or a mixture of explosive powders.
Each device was nearly as large as a cardboard toilet paper spool, he said.
"They will have to be tested in our lab, cutting them open to determine what kind of powder is in them and what kind of damage they could do," Thomas said.
The devices commonly are called quarter-pounders, he said. One would be powerful enough to blow off a man's hand and, if bundled together, 46 could kill someone or do significant structural damage to a building, Thomas said.
According to Brown and District Court papers, members of the strike force conducted a drug raid March 29 in the first block of E. Green St. in Westminster, seizing a small quantity of marijuana and finding 22 quarter-sticks of explosives.
An investigation led to Wednesday's "warrant roundup" as deputies went to residences in Hampstead, Manchester and Finksburg, where the 46 additional quarter-sticks were seized.
Arrested were Timothy Michael Barrett, 34, of the 4000 block of Schalk Road in Manchester; Glenn Allen Zimmerman, 21, of the 600 block of Ridge Road in Finksburg; Robert Glenn Desimone, 30, of the 1000 block of S. Main St. in Hampstead; and Stacy Marie Buchman, 23, of the same Hampstead residence.
Barrett was charged with possession of a pipe bomb and possession of explosives. He was being held on $10,000 full bond.
Zimmerman was charged with two counts of possession of a pipe bomb and two counts of possession of explosives. He was released on a $20,000 unsecured bond.
Desimone and Buchman were charged with possession of a pipe bomb, possession of explosives, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Desimone was held on $15,000 full bond and Buchman was released on $10,000 unsecured bond.
By definition, a pipe bomb is a noncommercially made explosive device constructed of solid material and designed to explode when subjected to heat, friction, concussion or detonation, court papers showed.
If convicted, each defendant could receive 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for possession of a pipe bomb.
The penalty for possessing an explosive device is five years and a $5,000 fine.
Pub Date: 5/24/96