Troy-area doctor charged after FBI raid; court records say he made explosives at home

A Miami County physician has been charged after the FBI recovered explosive devices from his home outside of Troy on Thursday, according to court records.

Steven J. Werling, 53, of Concord Twp., is facing one count of possession of a dangerous ordinance - illegally manufacturing or processing explosives, according to Miami County Municipal Court records. He pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Friday.

His bail was set at $2 million, cash only, and his next court date is Thursday. The charge is listed as a second-degree felony, which is applied for “manufacturing or processing explosives,” rather than the fifth-degree felony for possession.

Werling was arrested around 9 p.m. Thursday in the 1400 block of Barnhart Road by Miami County sheriff’s deputies, according to Miami Valley Jail booking records. Werling has owned a home there since 2015, according to county property records.

Around 2:30 p.m. Thursday, the Miami County Sheriff’s office responded to assist the FBI in an investigation into Werling possibly manufacturing explosive devices at his home, according to court documents.

The FBI searched Werling’s house and interviewed him Thursday.

“During the interview, Werling admitted to manufacturing explosive devices at his residence and provided details where the devices would be located inside his home,” an affidavit read.

The FBI recovered six suspected explosive devices in the garage, as well as homemade pipes, explosive chemical components, gunpowder and other materials used in making explosive devices.

Todd Lindgren, public affairs specialist of the FBI Cincinnati Field Office, confirmed “court-authorized law enforcement activity” in both downtown Dayton and Miami County were related to the same investigation, but declined to release additional information.

FBI and law enforcement officials also were seen raiding a building at 804 E. Monument St. in Dayton on Thursday. Court records from a 2020-21 lawsuit show Werling is part of a group that has owned that building, which includes a self-storage business.

On Friday, bomb squad and law enforcement officials were back at the Barnhart Road home, continuing the investigation. The FBI estimated it would take about two days to safely secure the materials, according to court records.

Nearby resident Billie Herron said he’s lived in the neighborhood for about 10 years.

“It’s the quietest neighborhood you’ve ever been in,” he said.

Herron said he just learned about the allegations against Werling, but said he still feels safe in the area.

Werling is a doctor in the Miami County area. He is listed in Premier Health’s provider directory as a proctologist at Advanced Colon Treatment, with locations in Tipp City and Piqua. He is listed as a DO, or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.

Ohio’s profession licensure website lists Werling’s medical license as “active” with the Ohio State Medical Board. The website does not show any disciplinary action.

Werling was prominently involved in anti-vaccine activism during the COVID pandemic.

In 2022, he was one of four people on a committee linked to a proposed Ohio constitutional amendment called “Medical Right to Refuse,” according to documents on the Ohio Attorney General’s website. It would have made part of the constitution that “an individual’s right to refuse any medical procedure, treatment, injection, vaccine ... shall be absolute.”

Werling also offered testimony at the Statehouse in 2023 on a House Bill 73 “Patient and Health Provider Protection Act.” In his testimony, he said he faced opposition for prescribing ivermectin to treat COVID-19 patients. He also expressed concerns about his right to free medical speech, saying he received two pressuring calls from the chief of staff of an unnamed hospital after questioning whether a woman’s COVID-19 booster may have played a role in her sudden death, and questioning whether a patient’s COVID vaccine status might be linked to their colon cancer.