Man sentenced for leaving 'destructive device' near Pine Grove Middle School – Baltimore Sun

A man was sentenced Thursday to nine years in prison after leaving a destructive device in a van near Pine Grove Middle School in 2022, Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said.

Joseph Vickery, 44, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, nine of which were suspended, for possession of an explosive or incendiary device with intent to create a destructive device and for knowingly manufacturing, possessing or distributing a destructive device , as well as for firearms and drug offenses.

Vickery's attorney, Joseph Pappafotis, said Friday afternoon that he was not “authorized” to comment at this time.

On September 20, 2022, a vehicle near Pine Grove Middle School in Parkville prompted evacuations after the discovery of an “improvised destructive device” made of cardboard and a receiver for a remote-controlled toy car.

The vehicle belonged to Vickery and was found right in front of the school entrance.

A test later confirmed that the device contained materials that, in combination, were “consistent with a homemade improvised explosive mixture after deactivating the device,” according to charging documents. Vickery later admitted to building an explosive device.

The investigation began with a report to Mount Airy Police of a suspect in a theft case when an officer obtained information that the suspect may have been searching for and purchasing materials for an explosive device. Baltimore County police were contacted on the night of September 19, 2022, after Howard County police traced Vickery's cell phone to a Rodeway Inn in Woodlawn.

On September 20, police evacuated two schools; searched the Rodeway Inn, where Vickery was staying; and road closures in two areas of Baltimore County related to the investigation.

A search of a trash can outside the Rodeway Inn venue led police to contact the agency's bomb squad. Vickery was in custody at 11:30 a.m. near Pine Grove Middle School. A police team accessed Vickery's vehicle and “made the improvised destructive device safe” around 1 p.m.

In an interview later that day, according to charging documents, he told police he had searched for “IEDs” and made an explosive device. He told police he did not intend to harm anyone and planned to “detonate it in a remote area.”

A woman also arrested by police that day told officers in an interview that Vickery began researching explosives “shortly after an argument with her mother.”

A search of Vickery's vehicle also turned up fertilizer, a table stove, tubes and handwritten instructions for making bombs, according to charging documents. Police also recovered a firearm, ammunition, drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine. Charging documents state Vickery is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to prior criminal convictions.

Materials used to make explosive devices were also found during the search of Vickery's Rodeway Inn room. Police write that officers who were surveilling the building after receiving information from other officers saw a woman throwing trash into a trash can on the sidewalk.

A detective took the trash and found receipts and items that police identified as “precursors for making explosive devices.”

A subsequent search of the room uncovered materials used to make explosives, as well as drugs and drug paraphernalia. Items recovered by police included a remote-controlled car, medical cold packs and two propane tanks.

Baltimore Sun reporter Darcy Costello contributed to this article.

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