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Weapons Found in Tax Evasion Case Raid

Associated Press | September 13, 2007
FRANK ELTMAN

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) A pipe bomb and other weapons were confiscated from the home of an Army recruit charged in a federal indictment with helping a fugitive pair of convicted New Hampshire tax evaders, police said Thursday.

Jason Gerhard, 22, who recently enlisted, was arrested Wednesday at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, according to a statement from the U.S. Marshals Service. He was one of four men charged with helping obstruct justice in the case Ed and Elaine Brown.

The Browns, who were convicted in January and have refused to turn themselves in, claim the federal income tax is not legitimate.

In conjunction with Gerhard's arrest, police and federal agents searched his home in the hamlet of Brookhaven, on eastern Long Island. The search, which began late Wednesday and continued Thursday afternoon, uncovered a pipe bomb and other weapons, including rifles, said Tim Motz, a Suffolk police spokesman.

The Gerhard home is set back from the highway, surrounded by woods, in an industrial area of Brookhaven.

Charges against the four accused in the Brown case range from accessory after the fact to possession and use of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. Officials believe the men participated in various efforts to assist the Browns in avoiding justice at their rural home in Plainfield, N.H., and conspired to impede federal agents.

The name of Gerhard's attorney was not immediately available.

Two of the men charged Robert Wolffe, 50, Randolph, Vt., and Daniel Riley, 40, of Cohoes, N.Y. were expected at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Concord on Thursday afternoon. The fourth man arrested was Cirino Gonzales, 30, of Alice, Texas.

Earlier this year, officials cut power and telephone service in an effort to ratchet up pressure on the couple convicted of scheming to avoid federal income taxes by hiding $1.9 million of income between 1996 and 2003.

Since abandoning his federal trial and retreating to his home, Ed Brown has repeatedly said that any attempts to arrest him would result in a violent confrontation.

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