Northeast Times

Six pipe bombs found in Oxford Circle home

A former Ox­ford Circle man is fa­cing fed­er­al weapons charges after he al­legedly stashed six make­shift pipe bombs in his moth­er’s base­ment.

Mi­chael Beer’s mom found the devices in­side her home on the 6100 block of Shisler St. and called 911 shortly be­fore 10 a.m. on Thursday, au­thor­it­ies said. Of­ficers evac­u­ated nu­mer­ous homes on the block and an ad­ja­cent block of Ben­ner Street, said Chief In­spect­or Joseph Sul­li­van of the Home­land Se­cur­ity Bur­eau. 

Mem­bers of the po­lice Bomb Squad found the foot-long cyl­indric­al devices in­side a card­board box in a corner of the base­ment where Mi­chael Beer, 36, lived un­til about three months ago, be­fore he moved in­to a Roseto, Northamp­ton County, apart­ment with his girl­friend, ac­cord­ing to a fed­er­al ar­rest war­rant. Au­thor­it­ies ar­res­ted him there later on Thursday.

All six pipes were about two inches in dia­met­er and had caps on both ends. One had a hole in its cap and what ap­peared to be shot­gun shells in­side of it. An­oth­er device had a hobby-type fuse pro­trud­ing from its cap.

Mem­bers of the po­lice Bomb Squad took the devices out­side and det­on­ated the one with the fuse. The device ex­ploded, caus­ing a loud bang and shower­ing the area with debris. In­vest­ig­at­ors de­term­ined that sev­er­al shot­gun shells had been packed in­side the pipe, along with what ap­peared to be a pro­pel­lant sub­stance.

Res­id­ents were per­mit­ted to re­turn to their homes shortly after 2 p.m., Sul­li­van said. Ac­cord­ing to Sul­li­van, the device with the fuse ap­peared to be “in a more ad­vanced state of pro­duc­tion” and “less stable” than the oth­ers. Mem­bers of the fed­er­al Bur­eau of Al­co­hol, To­bacco, Fire­arms and Ex­plos­ives ques­tioned Mi­chael Beer’s mom and her boy­friend about the devices, then used a con­fid­en­tial in­form­ant to place a re­cor­ded tele­phone call to Beer on his cell phone.

Dur­ing the con­ver­sa­tion, al­legedly stated that all he did was “place some shot­gun shells in­side a pipe,” and, “I don’t know what the big deal is.” Beer ap­par­ently real­ized that au­thor­it­ies were listen­ing and al­legedly told the in­form­ant, “You threw me un­der the bus.”

Po­lice and ATF agents ar­res­ted Beer that night at his apart­ment in Roseto. He was charged with pos­sess­ing a de­struct­ive device, an of­fense pun­ish­able by up to 10 years in pris­on. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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