State police confiscate 48 explosives, weapons from Hempfield home

State police said they confiscated 48 homemade explosive devices Wednesday from a Hempfield home just outside Penn Borough, according to court papers.

The devices reportedly were found during a search of the Penn Manor Road home of Roger N. Williams, 61. Police said they seized three handguns, a shotgun, a rifle and ammunition during the search. The IEDs were found in a box near the guns, according to troopers.

“Upon securing the devices, (state police) Hazardous Devices and Explosive Section determined that said devices were capable of leveling the residence if detonated,” troopers wrote in court papers.

Williams is a convicted felon and prohibited from having firearms, police said. His previous conviction was not detailed in court papers. Williams was accused in several criminal cases that included theft and conspiracy charges between 1990 and 2002, according to online court records.

He is charged in the new case with unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of an offensive weapon and weapons of mass destruction. Williams was held in the Westmoreland County Prison on a $50,000 bail. He did not have an attorney listed in the case.

A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 18.

Williams is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in another case two days earlier. He and two others are accused in the theft of 34 catalytic converters worth $50,000 from vehicles at a Salem RV dealer in October, according to court papers. He was free on his own recognition in that case.

A witness told police the catalytic converters were being stored in Williams’ garage, authorities said.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta by email at or via Twitter .

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