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Oklee man's trial on federal destructive devices charges begins

This past Monday, July 16, the federal trial of a 41-year-old northwestern Minnesota man got underway. He stands accused of possession of unregistered destructive devices.

He was initially arrested by law enforcement in Red Lake County on Oct. 30, 2017, after an informant told police that they'd discovered partially concealed pipe bombs on the man's land in rural Oklee. Those charges were dropped on Jan. 29, five days after the U.S. Attorney's office indicted him on federal charges.

During opening arguments in the case, federal prosecutors accused the man of planning what they referred to as a "second American Revolution". In journals located in the man's home that was raided in November, federal agents reportedly found a generalized list of targets. It included affluent people, law enforcement agencies, teachers and representatives with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Prosecutors also told jurors how the writings in the journal also chronicled a plan for how a single individual could initiate a revolution and win. It included details about how someone could successfully survive off the land as they planned an armed revolt, listed people he or she could ally, who should be targeted and how bombs could easily be made.

They also said that at least one of the 32 pages in the notebook had the defendant's name on it.

On another page, it referred to a movie with a working title of "The Revolt" being made. In some of the notes about the plot of the movie, the author apparently encouraged those reading the script to purchase weapons to be used against the IRS. Another note referred to law enforcement as garbage.

In their opening statements, prosecutors argued that this all showed that the defendant had the requisite motivation, knowledge, planning and intent necessary to convict him of the unregistered destructive device charge.

The judge presiding over the case didn't allow the entire journal to be used as evidence in the case, but instead only a portion of it although it's unclear which ones those were.

When the U.S. Attorney's Office decides to move forward in prosecuting a case, it often means that they what they believe to enough evidence that a crime occurred to get a conviction in your case. This is why it's important you're represented by only the most experienced Minneapolis federal crimes attorney who has a proven track record of success.

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