Document sheds new light on weapons case

Published 10:36 am Thursday, July 25, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — A Texas man tipped the FBI that a man he visited in western Minnesota was involved in far more than just an ordinary protest movement or militia group, according to a newly unsealed court document in the case against a defendant who was arrested in what the FBI once called a “terror plot” but was indicted only on weapons charges.

The search warrant affidavit from Special Agent Marc Rensch was made public Wednesday under an order late Tuesday from a federal magistrate judge, who granted a motion from the Star Tribune to unseal it and other filings in the case against 24-year-old Buford “Bucky” Rogers. It adds some details to what another FBI agent disclosed during a pretrial hearing Tuesday.

The informant, identified only as Witness 1, contacted the FBI after returning home to San Antonio. He told an agent on May 2 that he met Rogers at an “Arizona powwow” last fall or winter where Rogers overheard him speaking with another friend about their dissatisfaction with the government and the economy. Rogers joined in, “stating he hated the president and desired a return to the ‘cowboy days’ where everyone carried a gun,” the affidavit said. They decided to keep in touch.

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Witness 1 later dropped out of college and took a bus to Minnesota to meet up with Rogers, staying at the mobile home outside Montevideo where Rogers lived with his parents. It eventually became clear to the witness “that the group was not just an ordinary protest group or militia movement,” Resnch wrote.

The witness said Rogers “talked regularly about his plans to use his ‘Black Snake Militia’ to cut off connections to the city of Montevideo, to ‘take out’ a radio tower, to block communications to the city, to raid the National Guard armory, and to attack the police station,” according to the document.