Homemade Guns Seized In Highlandtown Rowhouse

Police Question Man's Motives

WBAL-TV/July 2, 2003

Baltimore -- A late Wednesday afternoon raid in a south Baltimore neighborhood turned up dozens of guns and enough equipment to manufacture more weapons.

Lovell Arthur Wheeler, 60, was arrested and charged on numerous firearms charges Wednesday. Baltimore City police detective Donny Moses said Wheeler was charged with reckless endangerment and numerous firearms and explosives violations. He said additional charges are pending after further analysis of items seized from the house.

WBAL-TV 11 News reporter Jeff Pegues said Tuesday night that police want to know why the man was making so many guns, but one neighbor said Wheeler has ties to Aryan Nation groups and had bragged about starting a race war.

WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team reporter David Collins reported Wednesday that police filled a dump truck with weapons in various stages of assembly. Police seized 14 rifles, eight handguns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, Collins said. Authorities said it is not illegal to make weapons in Maryland.

But investigators are most concerned about 80 pounds of gunpowder they found improperly stored in the man's rowhouse. According to charging documents, the gunpowder was found in bleach bottles, paint thinner cans and antifreeze containers. The documents also stated that if that much gunpowder were to explode, it could possibly destroy the home, neighbors' houses and would cause many casualties.

"One of the officers made a statement saying if there was a war he knows whose house he was coming to for protection," neighbor Carroll Zielinski said.

Wheeler was arrested Tuesday at a plastics products plant where he now works, Collins reported. Detectives said they found six high-velocity rounds in his pocket, matching more than 1,000 others found at his home. Neighbors who live near the home said the man in custody was not shy about talking about his hatred for minorities. But another neighbor says the woman who lives in the home was more concerned about another terrorist attack.

"There was going to be a revolution ... and he was well prepared for it, against anybody that's not white," Zielinski said.

He "talked about complex economic ideas of how the government was messing up and that the economy will crumble and the system will collapse, but it never matched up with a lot of weapons in there," neighbor Erik Sanderson said.

Wheeler is being held on $2 million bond.

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