The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

October 5, 2012

Man nabbed in Miami with Molotov cocktails

Bizarre plan to blow up churches uncovered

MIAMI, Okla. — A court document alleges that a 23-year-old man arrested Thursday afternoon at a motel in Miami had gathered materials for 50 Molotov cocktails and constructed a list of local churches that he may have been planning to bomb.

Gregory A. Weiler II was taken into custody at the Legacy Inn & Suites and charged Friday with being a threat to use an explosive device and violating the state’s antiterrorism law.

Police were called to the motel at 11:12 a.m. Thursday regarding suspicious items found in a trash bin.  Officers were shown a green military sailor’s bag that contained 50 brown glass bottles with duct tape and sections of cloth attached, according to a probable-cause affidavit filed Friday in Ottawa County District Court.

A funnel, strips of cloth torn from sheets, yet another brown glass bottle and “an unknown green object” also were found inside the bag, and a 5-gallon can of gas believed to be associated with the other items was located by officers, according to the affidavit.

Police were called back to the motel at 3:21 p.m. when similar items were spotted inside Room 127, the affidavit states. A search warrant consequently was sought and served at 5:56 p.m.

The affidavit states that officers located a receipt from the Wal-Mart store in Miami inside the room that showed itemized purchases of sheets, a gas can, a funnel and lighter fluid. They also found in the room a roll of gray duct tape, numerous cloth fibers consistent with the strips of sheets attached to the bottles in the bag, several Budweiser beer bottle caps, empty brown glass bottles that matched those found in the sailor’s bag and an empty 20-bottle box of Budweiser beer.

The affidavit states that in a trash receptacle in the room police found a handwritten document that had been torn into several small pieces. When the pieces were reassembled, the document revealed a recipe for making Molotov cocktails and, a list of 48 Miami area churches. It also bore a hand-drawn map of those churches with “a key detailing how many nights and how many people,” the affidavit reads.

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