Three North Carolina men accused of violating federal firearms laws were reportedly amassing a weapons arsenal to fight back against a government martial law takeover, the FBI claims.
On Saturday, federal agents and local and state police raided a tattoo parlor and two other homes near Charlotte before arresting three men accused of building explosives and conspiring to violate federal firearms laws.
The FBI claims it began monitoring Gaston County residents Walter Eugene Litteral, 50, Christopher James Barker, 41, and Christopher Todd Campbell, 30, back in June after being tipped off to the former two’s plan to build homemade pipe bombs.
Similar allegations were lodged against Campbell, one of Litteral’s employees, who was “attempting to reconstruct grenades,” according to the Associated Press.
FBI documents reportedly claim the men were preparing to defend against a martial law scenario which could result out of the Jade Helm military exercises, the sophisticated, domestic multi-state US SOCOM training exercise seeking to “master the human domain.”
Agents found the men with military gear such as face masks, radios with throat microphones, armored vests, grenades, Kevlar helmets, ammunition and assault rifles, and say the men discussed killing invading “government forces.”
At one point, Campbell reportedly told Litteral, a 14-year US Marine Corps veteran, about a “booby-trapped” patch of land in Clover, South Carolina where he “intended to draw government forces into the camp and kill them.”
Documents also claim Litteral referred to homemade explosives as “game changers” and planned to test them in nearby Shelby, North Carolina. “It is going to be great,” Literall is stated as saying.
Additional complaints claim the three also shared prescription pharmaceuticals while hatching the scheme.
“The federal conspiracy charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine,” the AP reveals. “In addition, Campbell has been charged with a separate firearms charge punishable by 10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.”
Reports have not shown why the FBI believes the men were prepping for a military exercise taking place in southwestern states nearly 1,000 miles from their location.
The men will face detention hearings on Thursday.