MANCHESTER, Md. (WJZ) — Federal authorities announced Thursday that they charged an Ohio man in the 2020 package explosion in Carroll County.
Clayton Alexander McCoy, 30, of Chesterland was charged with transporting an explosive device with intent to injure and using a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence in the Oct. 2020 bombing.READ MORE: Sheriff: Maryland Man Injured After Receiving Package That Exploded; Reward Offered For Information
McCoy was arrested Wednesday and had his initial court appearance Thursday. He is now waiting to be transferred to Maryland to stand trial.
Investigators say McCoy allegedly drove to Maryland and left the homemade pipe bomb in a package on the front porch of a Manchester home because he was upset about unrequited love with the victim’s girlfriend.
According to authorities, McCoy told the victim’s girlfriend he had feelings for her in early October 2020. She told McCoy she did not feel the same way and that she had a boyfriend, the victim. They agreed to remain friends.
But evidence collected via a search warrant showed a device owned by McCoy allegedly search for directions to the victim’s home address. McCoy’s cell phone then allegedly pinged along the route to the victim’s home and the pickup truck he was allegedly driving, registered to McCoy’s mother, was seen on home security video that day from a neighbor’s camera.
“In addition, a review of McCoy’s online accounts revealed that a week before the bombing, McCoy allegedly searched for the gas tank capacity of a 1994 Toyota pickup, the same make and year of the pickup truck registered to McCoy’s mother,” the press release stated.
McCoy knew the victim and his girlfriend through their interest in Dagorhir, “a live-action role-playing battle game with full contact melee fighting and ranged combat as its primary focus,” federal authorities said.
Carroll County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a home in the 3300 block of View Ridge Court near Valley Vista Court around 5:30 p.m. for a reported explosion on Oct. 30. Those deputies found the man suffering from injuries to his abdomen, lower extremities, and legs in his bedroom.
A package that held the explosive was hand-delivered to the home at 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. and was addressed to the man.READ MORE: 28-Year-Old Man Injured After Reported Explosion In Lineboro, Carroll County Sheriff's Office Says
The victim’s grandfather brought it inside and left it on the kitchen table. It was not touched until the victim returned to the home he shares with his grandparents around 5:30 p.m.
“It was just sitting on my porch and my husband carried it in the house,” the victim’s grandmother said at the time, adding she did not see it being delivered. “We took it out of the plastic bag it was in and set it (in) my dining room.”
When the man got home, he took the package to his bedroom where he opened it and was injured. He was struck by shrapnel and sustained injuries to his chest, legs, and front of his body. He underwent extensive surgeries and was released from the hospital on Nov. 17, 2020, and is continuing with rehabilitation.
Investigation revealed that the explosive device was likely a type of pipe bomb containing shrapnel.
The explosion left some damage to the home and shook neighbors.
Carroll County Sheriff James T. DeWees said the incident created fear among residents as it was several weeks before Christmas when many were expecting packages through the mail.
“Many in this region may recall how frightening this incident was and in the days following,” said DeWees. “Cases involving explosions often take months or even years to solve. And we’re all very grateful for the speed and deliberation by which this law enforcement team put this case together through methodical investigative work and through teamwork. Everyone here on this law enforcement team succeeded in not only holding and apprehending a dangerous criminal but also hopefully provided reassurance to a community that was justifiably alarmed after the bombing.”
If convicted, McCoy faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for transporting explosives with intent to injure and a mandatory minimum of 30 years and a maximum of life in federal prison for using, carrying, or possession of a destructive device during and in relation to a crime of violence.MORE NEWS: Clayton McCoy Charged In Carroll County Pipe Bomb Case Appears In Ohio Courtroom, Awaiting Transport To Maryland
Watch the full press conference below: