Multiple federal firearms and explosives charges have been filed against a Montana man who has past affiliations with the tea party and has publicly displayed antigovernment sentiments.
Bruce Boone Wann, 61, was arrested by federal agents in late September and indicted last week by a grand jury in Missoula, where he remains in custody.
He is charged with nine counts, including distribution of explosive materials, illegal possession of a machine gun and an unregistered silencer, possession of firearms with obliterated serial numbers and possession of a stolen firearm.
In 2009, Wann showed up at a tea party tax day protest in Kalispell, Montana, wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, a signature for antigovernment and anti-establishment sentiment, the Flathead Beacon reported at the time.
Wann held a sign at the demonstration that read, “Nazi Checkpoint Ahead.” He told the newspaper that he “regularly used it to warn motorists when local law enforcement set up checkpoints,” which he claimed violated constitutional rights.
“Wann also railed against the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Federal Reserve and gun control legislation introduced in Congress,” the Flathead newspaper reported.
Two years ago, Wann posted a public comment under an interview with antigovernment novelist Matt Bracken, a man who last February warned there would be "100 Ruby Ridges every week" if the government tried to restrict gun ownership. Bracken also drafted an Islamophobic essay that alleged jihadists were teaming up with international socialists to bring down Western civilization. In his comments, Wann told fellow readers to “keep you powder dry” because “moron” Islamic jihadists might deliberately start Montana’s public forests on fire.
Wann's current motivation for allegedly possessing and selling illegal firearms and explosives may come to public light if federal authorities seek his pre-trial detention and are required to put on testimony at a detention hearing.
Court documents allege Wann illegally possessed and sold illegal firearms and explosives, including an improvised grenade and dynamite, to purchasers who haven’t been publicly identified.
The defendant also is accused of selling an AR-15 assault rifle, a machine gun and multiple silencers for pistols to buyers in Kalispell, Marion and Kila, Montana.
According to court documents, many of the weapons previously had been reported stolen and their serial numbers had been removed when they were illegally sold by Wann.
If convicted, Wann could face a maximum sentence of more than 80 years in prison.