Additional charges filed against Oxford pipe bomb burglary suspect

Click image to enlarge. Top, a Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy prepares to detonate a homemade pipe bomb. Bottom, smoke and flames from the detonation in Oxford, Friday, January 17, 2014. (

Investigators filed new charges Tuesday against a Calhoun County burglary suspect accused of making a pipe bomb.

Johnny Wade Stevens faces destructive device charges,{}as Alabama state law states "it shall be unlawful for any person to possess, manufacture, transport, or distribute a destructive device."

Oxford Police are relieved they found--and safely detonated--the explosive device.{} Chief investigator L.G. Owens said it was a tube slightly smaller than a can of tennis balls or Pringles.

"It was made out of PVC pipe.{} It was capped on both ends, with a fuse on one end of the device," Owens said.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office bomb squad detonated the device Friday afternoon on Beck Road in Oxford.{} Officers initially responded to a burglary call from a homeowner a few blocks away.

"This was a home that was being remodeled and [the owner] had left for lunch," Owens said.

"He returned from lunch and he saw the individual's truck in the driveway, and he surprised [the burglar] when he pulled in.{} The individual was coming out of the residence with property that belonged to the homeowner."

Police chased the suspect to Beck Road and arrested Stevens for burglary and possession of a controlled substance.{} Then investigators saw something strange on top of an empty bag of dog food in the back of the pick-up truck.

"They saw what they thought to be a device that was possibly a bomb," Owens said.

"The particular officer that made and initiated the stop has gone through schools and what have you to recognize these types of devices, so he knew what he was dealing with and he knew that he needed to back off immediately."

Owens said all Oxford officers have the same training.

As part of the investigation, officers searched Stevens' home for more explosives.

"There were some components that were found there that were used with this device, that possibly could be used to make another device, but there were no other devices found," Owens said.

He said investigators still don't know why Stevens had the pipe bomb.{} However, Owens said police do not believe Stevens is associated with any violent groups or organizations.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives took samples Friday.{} There may be federal charges.