Federal documents: Man killed in explosion was making, selling M80s and cherry bombs

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Just days before an explosion at a house in the 9100 block of Tennessee Ave., two weeks ago that killed a 52-year-old man, federal authorities say the man received a shipment of materials to make explosives.

Wiley Mitchell had been making illegal fireworks for at least two years, specializing in M-80s and cherry bombs, according to the affidavit and search warrant return documents filed after the June 4 explosion.

Mitchell’s  brother-in-law, Eric Carter, told investigators that he and Mitchell made approximately 1,500 M-80s in June of 2013 and sold them in bundles for $5-$10.

Another man, Mike Pierce, was also involved in the illegal fireworks business, according to federal authorities. The explosion that killed Mitchell, critically injured Pierce. He lost a foot and suffered burns over 50 percent of his body.

When they searched the rubble of the home, documents show federal investigators found explosive compounds, powders, cardboard tubes and fuses, seven guns and ammunition.

Carter told investigators that at the time of the explosion, Wiley Mitchell was compiling additional materials to make explosives in 2014.

Carter said Mitchell had flash power in a bowl in the basement, left over from last year.

Mitchell was at the epicenter of the blast and within days died from the burns, loss of both legs , loss of his right arm and left hand.

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