BALTIMORE—Timothy Ray Berry, age 38, of Owings Mills, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon, and possession of explosives by a felon.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Chait of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives-Baltimore Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger; and Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to Berry’s plea agreement, on February 13, 2011, Berry assaulted a minor by shooting him in the leg with a BB gun. On February 24, 2011, Baltimore County Police Department Crimes Against Children Unit executed a search warrant at Berry’s apartment as part of the investigation into the assault. Police recovered the BB gun used in the assault, as well as a loaded 9mm handgun, a 12-gauge shotgun, three boxes of ammunition, handcuffs, brass knuckles, other BB guns and airsoft pistols and a stun gun. Police also observed several improvised explosive devices, including: C-4 explosive material; and a clear plastic container with gray powder and a M-800 pyrotechnic device inside, secured with a white lid with a burnt hole in the center.
A second search warrant was then obtained for the apartment by the Baltimore County Police Hazardous Devices Team for evidence relating to the manufacture of illegal improvised explosives. Police recovered items commonly used in the production of illegal improvised explosives, including, among other things: containers of potassium nitrate and potassium chlorate, smokeless shotgun powder, model rocket igniters and motors, pool chemicals, various fuse materials, PVC and metal pipe of varying lengths and pipe fittings. Also recovered were numerous books related to firearm and the manufacture of illegal improvised explosives. Berry had underlined and starred book titles including, “Clear Your Record & Own a Gun,” and “How to Lose Your X-Wife Forever.” Berry’s computer was also seized and a subsequent forensic analysis revealed that less than a month before, Berry had searched online for how to make homemade C-4, and how to fabricate tags for Maryland license plates.
On March 1, 2011, following Berry’s arrest and detention on state charges related to child abuse, reckless endangerment, and gun possession, and with knowledge of the imminent federal investigation, Berry called another individual from jail and instructed that person to “burn” the “other books” and to get rid of “anything that looks like it could be suspect…”
Berry faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on each of the two counts. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. has scheduled sentencing for March 1, 2012, at 1:00 p.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the ATF, FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, Baltimore County Police Department, and Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorney Rachel M. Yasser, who is prosecuting the case.