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.”
Prosecutors and agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives did not accuse Lechner of plotting to detonate the mixture of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil. Assistant U.S. Attorney Maarten Vermaat told the AP he had “no idea” what Lechner planned to do with the materials.
You know, asking the guy what he plans to do with 2 tons of explosives is a fair question for the state to ask. He deserves his day in court. Having said that, he's expecting the government to "take over", and he expects to have been able to fight back with said 2 tons of things that go boom.
Seems like yeah, there's probably a case here.