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updated: 8/12/2011 2:12 PM

Wood Dale man accused of stockpiling bomb materials

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  • Bryan Roehr

      Bryan Roehr

 

A Wood Dale man accused of threatening to put a bomb in a 2-year-old's bedroom was charged Friday with stockpiling explosives in his basement and blowing up a Dumpster outside a Bensenville church.

Bryan R. Roehr, 24, was ordered held on $750,000 bail, charged with possession of explosives or incendiary devices and criminal damage to property.

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Assistant State's Attorney Nick Catizone said Roehr told police he was a "fan of the Fourth of July" and he learned to build bombs by watching YouTube videos. He was arrested after police searched his home Thursday on the 200 block of North Oakwood Drive.

Catizone said officers seized a cache of bomb-making materials, including two pounds of potassium perchlorate and one pound of aluminum powder. He's also accused of possessing 30 cardboard tubes, several 5-foot cannon fuses, glue guns, funnels, mixing bags and threaded metal piping.

Police searched Roehr's basement after a man reported that Roehr sent him text messages threatening to put a bomb in the man's 2-year-old son's bedroom, authorities said. The man also told police he knew Roehr had bomb-making materials, they said.

Through the course of the investigation, Catizone said, authorities learned Roehr blew up a Dumpster in May outside Grace-Gospel Center, 4N220 Route 83 in Bensenville. He said Roehr denied planning to follow through on his threat involving the 2-year-old but confessed that he blew up the trash bin to test a bomb.

"It blew the top of the Dumpster off," Catizone told DuPage County Judge Michael Wolfe in bond court.

Roehr could face four to 30 years in prison if convicted of the most serious offense. According to court records, his criminal history includes misdemeanor convictions for contributing to the criminal delinquency of a minor by providing alcohol to two boys younger than 17 in 2008, and criminal damage to property for damaging two vehicles at a Wood Dale address in 2009.

Prosecutors said Roehr also was accused at one time of beating a person in the face with a baseball bat but aggravated battery charges were dismissed as the result of a plea deal. Court records show he was sentenced to supervision and conditional discharge in the earlier cases; he also has received a dozen traffic tickets since 2008.

"Let's just say Bryan's made a lot of bad decisions in his lifetime and this is just another one," Deputy Wood Dale Police Chief Greg Vesta said. "We became aware of this most recent threat just a few days ago and we jumped on it to nip it in the bud. Once there were threats made, we felt he was definitely a threat to the safety of himself and other enemies he may have."

Vesta said police also were concerned for the safety of this weekend's Prairie Fest, which runs through Sunday in Town Square, not far from Roehr's home.

"There were no threats made in that direction but he's just a block away and over the tracks from the fest, so that was certainly a concern," Vesta said. "Now it's one less thing to worry about while ensuring the safety of everyone at the fest.

A message left at Roehr's listed phone number was not immediately returned Friday, and a woman who answered another phone number at his address told a reporter not to call back. A message left at Grace Gospel was not immediately returned.

Roehr remained in the county jail Friday afternoon, pending a Sept. 12 court appearance. He would need to post $75,000 to be released.

• Daily Herald staff writer Justin Kmitch contributed to this report.

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