Man receives community service, probation for making explosives

Defense lawyer notes items were locked up

November 04, 1999|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A Westminster man, who could have been sentenced to 25 years in prison and fined $250,000 for manufacturing explosive devices, was granted probation before judgment yesterday.

Mark J. Bauerlien, 38, of the first block of Ward Ave. pleaded guilty, placing himself at the mercy of Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr.

To impress Bauerlien with the seriousness of the charges, Burns ordered the defendant to perform 250 hours of community service within 18 months and placed the self-employed carpenter on five years' probation.

Prosecutor Brian DeLeonardo had asked Burns to consider a lengthy prison sentence and suspend all but 18 months of the term, but Burns said he was swayed by a favorable pretrial report. He noted Bauerlien had a strong marriage, worked two jobs and was a good father to his 15-year-old daughter.

Edward Ulsch, a Westminster attorney representing Bauerlien, called his client an "average good guy" who has cared lovingly for his wife, whose multiple sclerosis was diagnosed two years after they married. He said his client happens to have a hobby that involves firearms and explosives.

Ulsch noted that when Westminster police and state fire marshals went to Bauerlien's home with a search warrant, the items were safely locked up and small signs were posted to warn anyone who approached, such as a firefighter, that explosives were present.

DeLeonardo said investigators seized explosive devices, including a powerful blasting cap, two knives, a dozen firearms, two illegal silencers and a quantity of ammunition, but had found "no evidence of any evil intent."

All but four weapons, which were owned by a friend of the defendant, were confiscated and Bauerlien, as a condition of the agreement, may not possess firearms or explosive devices without permission from his probation agent, DeLeonardo said.

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