Feds: DHS analyst had parts for explosives at home

AP News
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Posted: Aug 02, 2016 8:28 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Department of Homeland Security analyst who entered his agency's Washington headquarters with a gun and other weapons in June also kept ingredients for explosives at his West Virginia home, according to court documents.

A document detailing a June search of Jonathan Wienke's Martinsburg home was unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in the same city. Wienke, a 45-year-old federal employee with top-secret clearance, had a 75-minute commute to the Homeland Security building.

Authorities found sawed-off plastic pipes, glue, tools and 10 boxes of magnesium shavings, thermite and oxidizers in the house. In the filing, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives agent determined that the items could be used to make explosives, but said they weren't contraband in their present state and didn't seize them.

Authorities also discovered walkie-talkie radios with extra wiring, explaining in court documents that they potentially could be used as detonators.

The filing says authorities seized 19 firearms, including a pistol with an illegal silencer. Up to 50,000 rounds of ammunition were in the home, court documents state.

They also took various papers, metal tubes and copper pipes, a blender, a thread cutter, a scanner, a briefcase and other items from the house and a shed, an executed search warrant says.

Late last month, Wienke pleaded not guilty to firearms charges largely stemming from the illegal silencers. He was released late last month, and faces up to 10 years in prison.

Previous court documents allege Wienke carried a gun, knife, infrared camera, pepper spray and handcuffs in his backpack into the Homeland Security building the morning of June 9. The building has a security level on par with the White House and the Pentagon, according to an affidavit by a Homeland Security special agent.

Investigators believed they had probable cause to think Wienke "was conspiring with another to commit workplace violence, and more particularly may have been conspiring or planning to commit violence against senior DHS officials in the building," according to court filings by the federal government last month.

But last month, the department's chief security officer, Richard McComb, told a House homeland security subcommittee that there is "no indication" Wienke was "planning or conspiring to commit workplace violence."

Initially, Wienke was charged in June with carrying a pistol without a license. He was placed on administrative leave from his job after his initial arrest, and a judge has barred him from enter the Homeland Security headquarters while the investigation continues.

Wienke's public defender declined to comment Tuesday.

A Homeland Security spokesman referred additional questions to federal prosecutors. The U.S. attorneys' offices in northern West Virginia and Washington did not comment beyond the court filings.