WINTHROP (AP) – A former Army Green Beret remains in federal custody after pleading guilty to possessing stolen military explosives in his Winthrop home.

Marc McDonnell, 48, entered his plea Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland and his case was continued for sentencing. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Federal agents, who searched McDonnell’s home three months ago at the request of his estranged wife, Cynthia, found 10 pounds of military TNT and 142 blasting caps.

McDonnell’s lawyer, Thomas Greco, said his client had been a combat engineer who worked with explosives.

As a result of a 1983 federal conviction in Massachusetts for mailing threats, McDonnell was barred from possessing firearms and explosives, according to court records.

Law enforcement agents removed McDonnell from Fort Devens in Massachusetts and he remained in custody until he finished his federal sentence for the threat conviction.

Greco told the judge that Cynthia McDonnell was the one who brought the explosives to Maine.

Greco said she had cleared her husband’s belongings, including the explosives, from the base.

“The explosives sat untouched for 21, 22 years. And then, when their relationship soured, miraculously, the stolen explosives appeared,” he said.

McDonnell also faces state charges of terrorizing and assault stemming from a May 17 incident May 17 in Winthrop. Greco said he asked that those charges be transferred to Kennebec County Superior Court.

AP-ES-09-08-04 0229EDT

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