OCEAN CITY – Two Pennsylvania men were arrested Wednesday morning after a suspicious explosive device was found in their vehicle after a routine traffic stop for a seatbelt violation in Ocean City.
Around 11:20 a.m. on Wednesday, OCPD officers conducted a routine traffic stopped a vehicle in the area of 7th Street and Baltimore Ave. for a driver not wearing a seat belt. During the traffic stop, officers observed open alcoholic beverage containers and suspected marijuana in plain view inside the car.
As a result, the driver of the car, identified as Roger Lee Shipley III, 24, of Harrisburg, Pa., and the passenger, identified as Jeremiah Charles Spelas, 25, of Carlisle, Pa., were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. During the subsequent search of the vehicle, OCPD officers discovered a suspicious item in the passenger compartment suspected of being an improvised explosive device (IED).
The object was shaped like a hand grenade and was wrapped in black tape. There also appeared to be a fuse protruding from one end of the device. Police immediately identified the object as an IED and the entire area was sealed off while the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office Bomb Squad responded to the scene.
Bomb Squad technicians carefully removed the device and transported it to an undisclosed area outside of Ocean City where it was destroyed without incident. Typically, bomb squad technicians removed potentially explosive devices found in the resort to an area near the Ocean City Municipal Airport in West Ocean City.
Both Shipley and Spelas have been charged by the OCPD with possession of marijuana, paraphernalia and related alcoholic beverage charges. Charges are still pending from the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office Bomb Squad for manufacturing and possessing a destructive device related to the recovered mystery object. As of late Wednesday, both suspects were in the custody of the OCPD awaiting an initial appearance before a District Court Commissioner.