Cops to indicted drug dealer: Is that a pipe bomb in your closet?
CUMBERLAND, MD. (January 8, 2016) – Maryland Deputy State Fire Marshals have arrested a 35-year-old male after an investigation involving a “pipe bomb” accidentally found inside a residence. Investigators were called to a residence in the 446 Seymour Street, Cumberland, Md., on January 4, 2016, after Officers with the Cumberland Police Department observed a “pipe bomb” in the residence.
The Police Department and Cumberland Fire Department were at the location mitigating an unrelated medical emergency. Cumberland Fire Department Fire Marshal also assisted with the initial response.
The observations initiated a response by Bomb Technicians, and the device was removed from the residence and rendered safe. The investigation concluded with the arrest of the homeowner, identified as James Leroy Whitacre Jr.
Whitacre was arrested by Deputy State Fire Marshal John Ray for Possession of a Destructive Device, and is currently being held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $100,000 Bail/Bond. If convicted, Whitacre could face up to 25 years in Jail and up to a $250,000.
Whitacre was indicted by an Allegany County Grand Jury for eight counts of drug possession and distribution charges on Nov. 19, 2015 and faces a trial in Circuit Court in Cumberland on March 16, 2016. He is represented by a public defender, who actually does not defend the public, but represents those accused of crimes who represent that they cannot pay for their own attorney. David M. Schram of Cumberland, Md., is listed in court records as the taxpayer-provided attorney for Whitacre.
On Sept. 22, 2015, Whitacre was charged with three counts of theft and property destruction in Alleghany County District Court with a trial by jury in Circuit Court pending.
On a charge of theft and obstructing and hindering, placed by Allegany County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Beal on May 30, 2015, ended with a guilty plea to one charge on Oct. 29, 2015, and a jail sentence of 30 days.
On May 12, 2015, Whitacre was charged with theft and rogue & vagabond, which means he may have been in the process of breaking and entering. In Circuit Court for Allegany County, on July 1, 2015, the Allegany County States Attorney put the charges on the Stet Docket with no time and no fine.
On July 22, 2014, Whitacre was arrested on charges of theft by Maryland State Police Tfc. Justin Buskirk. In Allegany County District Court on Oct. 29, 2015, a plea deal was struck between the taxpayer-provided free attorney Michael A. Stankan and the States Attorney for Allegany County, Michael Twigg. The Deal: a guilty plea in exchange for 90 days in jail with 58 days suspended.