We first noticed Marine Sgt. Charles Dyer, aka "July4Patriot," back in March, when we ran one of the first reports on the "Oath Keepers" bloc of the Tea Party movement -- an organization devoted to recruiting military and police-force veterans into a Patriot-movement belief system predicated on a series of paranoid conspiracy theories, especially the notion that the federal government intends to begin rounding up citizens and putting them in concentration camps.
Dyer played a prominent role in connecting the Oath Keepers to the Tea Party movement, speaking at a July 4 Tea Party rally in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. And he's been involved in organizing militia "maneuvers" in Oklahoma.
Dyer cropped up again in the news -- this time in the police blotter for allegedly raping a 7-year-old girl:
An ex-military man has been arrested on charges of rape of a child and forcible sodomy.
Charles Alan Dyer, 29, of Marlow, was arrested Tuesday afternoon by Stephens County Sheriff’s deputies, said Sheriff Wayne McKinney. Dyer served in the United States Marines in Iraq.
Oh, and guess what police found when they searched his home:
During the search the sheriff’s deputies noted several firearms and a device believed to be a Colt M-203, 40-millimeter grenade launcher, a complaint filed in the United States District Court of Western Oklahoma by Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco Special Agent Brett Williams said.
As the story from KAUZ-TV notes, Dyer had a history of making bizarre claims in his videos -- as well as violent fears of being arrested.
“We come home and those bastards want to talk about how we’re domestic terrorists and a threat to this country. It makes me so angry,” said Charles Dyer, who has been accused of committing rape.
... More incriminating evidence against Dyer has surfaced in a YouTube video. The video shows Dyer, a former U.S. Marine, talking proudly about domestic terrorism. “Join the military?”, said Dyer. “Depends on what you want to do with it. Me? I'm going to use my training and become one of those domestic terrorists that you’re so afraid of from the DHS reports.”
... “I’m certainly not going to be hiding from my command anymore. I’m not hiding from ATF. Not hiding from FBI. Any organization. If they want to come get me I’m not going to be afraid,” Dyer said.
“Patriots, we are not overpowered. If we united under one banner and fight for our children’s liberity and the constitution, our resolve is invincible to any standing army,” Dyer said.
GossipBoy is reporting that the rape victim was a close family member. They also report that Dyer had been in touch with a fellow militiaman linked to explosives dealing, and that when bomb-sniffing dogs searched Dyer's home, they indicated explosives had been stored there recently.
Meanwhile, unsurprisingly, the folks at American Resistance Movement -- a group Dyer was also prominently involved in -- are claiming that Dyer was set up, and the girl who accused him was "programmed" to do so. Accordingly, they've set up a "Free July4Patriot" fund, with a little button on their front page so you can donate.
Also, Dyer's YouTube page remains active.
Every movement attracts its freaks. But the Patriot movement attracts an inordinate number of them -- and particularly people with a pedophilia problem. (I can list at least 10 different prominent figures in the Northwest's Patriot movement in the 1990s who had a history of being charged with abusing and abducting children.) Evidently, being a pedophile leads to resentment of the government -- probably for its desire to lock you away.
We'll reserve judgment on Dyer's guilt or innocence for after the trial. But let's just say that the predictable claims that he's been arrested as part of a government plot to silence him are not exactly compelling in this case.
[Thanks to Susie for her help with this post.]