John Frank Jenkins (Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department)
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
A 28-year-old Maryland man has been arrested after a pipe bomb was found inside a van in College Park Friday morning.
The device was discovered three days after someone detonated a pipe bomb damaging the porch of a home.
The unexploded device was discovered as authorities executed an early morning search warrant at a home on Edgewood Road.
A law enforcement source familiar with the investigation says a pipe bomb detonated Tuesday morning on the porch of a home on 48th Avenue was apparently done to send a message.
There was minimal damage and no one was hurt, but investigators believe the root of the trouble may have to do with drugs.
Under arrest is a man identified as John Frank Jenkins of College Park. He has been charged with the manufacture or possession of a destructive device.
The detonation of the pipe bomb on 48th Avenue occurred just before 2 a.m. Tuesday -- an explosion powerful enough to leave some holes in the siding and damage to the front storm door.
Scott Vonbergener heard the blast.
"There was a loud bang, a loud bang, louder than any firecracker I have ever heard, louder than a shotgun," he says. "I get out of bed, look around, I see no signs of smoke or fire, so I go back to bed."
But within minutes, Vonbergener says the street was flooded with police and emergency vehicles.
"They were here for a couple of hours," says Vonbergener. "They took pictures of the cars, they took pictures of the front porch."
From there, we now know the investigation led detectives and federal agents to a house on Edgewood Road where an apparent pipe bomb was discovered inside a van.
"The bomb squad rendered safe that device that appeared to have all of the components of an explosive device," says Prince George's County Fire and EMS spokesman Mark Brady.
Federal agents and local investigators spent hours going through the home before turning their attention to a house on the corner of Rhode Island Avenue and Blackfoot Place.
As many as three people were detained inside a police transport vehicle as authorities searched the home taking a number of undisclosed items as evidence.
"It's rather obvious we had some serious criminal activity taking place that was involving explosives," says Brady. "It's something we take very seriously."
As the search concluded, police released two people, but detained a third - a woman who was wanted in Charles County on an outstanding warrant.
At the home on 48th Avenue, no one answered the door Friday afternoon. Neighbors say the owner is a long-time resident - a man in his 60s lives there with his son.
The charges against Jenkins are felonies and he could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Investigators say they only found one unexploded device during both searches and the investigation is ongoing.
A search of online court records shows Jenkins has been arrested numerous times in recent years, including charges for drugs.