Michigan Man Charged After Federal Authorities Find More Than 4,000 Lbs Of Explosives

Michigan man charged after federal authorities find more than 4,000 pounds of explosives
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A crank or another Timothy McVeigh is probably what the FBI would like to know. The Michigan Militia is a well-known extremist group as well, so I imagine any ties with their members will be examined closely.

Video is from WWTV in Traverse City, Mich.

(AP) TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Federal authorities say a Michigan man bought and hid more than 4,000 pounds of explosives with enough potential firepower to equal the Oklahoma City bombing and told an undercover informant that “when the government takes over, we will be mercenaries.”

John Francis Lechner, 64, was arrested last week on a charge of possessing explosives while facing other charges and ordered held following a U.S. District Court hearing Monday. His attorney said Lechner, a builder and farmer from Sault Ste. Marie in the Upper Peninsula, obtained the materials years ago for construction projects.

“He’s not a terrorist, he’s not a mercenary, he’s not some freedom fighter,” defense attorney Charles Malette told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “He intended no type of violence, pro- or anti-government. The man is not like that.”

However you slice it though that's a staggering amount of explosives.

DeClaire said he obtained a search warrant the same day and found 83 bags of the mixture, each weighing about 50 pounds. The combined weight was about 4,150 pounds. The next day, he found a supply of explosive boosters, detonating cord and blasting caps at Lechner’s mother’s nearby home. Another box of blasting caps was recovered in Sault Ste. Marie, he said.

During the hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Greeley asked how big an explosion could result from detonating the materials.

The quantity we’re talking about would be at least that of an Oklahoma City bombing or more,” DeClaire replied, according to The Mining Journal of Marquette (http://bit.ly/nIoxFU ).

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