A 24-year-old Minnesota man with ties to an antigovernment militia group is under arrest for what now appears to be a plot to bomb a local police department.
Buford “Bucky” Rogers, of Montevideo, Minn., only has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, but other federal charges – and possibly other arrests – may be in the works, authorities tell Hatewatch.
Rogers, a self-proclaimed member of the Black Snake Militia, was arrested by an FBI SWAT team on Friday when agents found homemade bombs and firearms at the home of the suspect’s father, Jeffrey Rogers. The father was not arrested.
“The FBI believes that a terror attack was disrupted by law enforcement personnel and that the lives of several local residents were potentially saved,” the agency said in a statement.
A federal criminal complaint says “agents conducting the search located several items including Molotov cocktails, suspected pipe bombs and firearms.” The suspect was arrested at his home, which is about ¾ of a mile from his father’s home, where the explosive devices were found.
The explosive devices — some packed with nails and others types of potentially lethal shrapnel — were detonated nearby by a bomb squad.
Federal authorities say “they are confident that they foiled a planned attack on the Montevideo Police Department and possibly saved lives” when they arrested Buford Rogers, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported today.
“I can’t comment on that at this point,” Montevideo Police Chief Adam Christopher told Hatewatch today when asked if his department was the potential target of a domestic terrorism attack.
The chief did say, however, that he and other officers on the nine-member department have arrested Buford Rogers at least twice before.
At one point, officers responded to Rogers’ home after neighbors complained that he was flying an upside-down U.S. flag outdoors. That is a common public display for antigovernment activists who believed the United States is under attack by subversive foreign powers.
Buford Rogers and his father also had crudely hand-painted signs outside their home, with the red letters “BSM” sprayed on a black background, the chief said. “When I asked what that stood for, they told me ‘Black Snake Militia,’” the chief told Hatewatch. “I personally asked the father what that was all about and he told me, ‘Oh, that’s Bucky’s thing.’”
The chief said the investigation, now being led by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, is ongoing, but preliminary indications are that the militia is a small cell. “I would describe it as Bucky Rogers and his family and close friends,” he said.
The chief said there have been no unexplained bombings in or near Montevideo, which is a rural, agricultural community of 5,600 about 100 miles west of Minneapolis.
The suspect currently doesn’t have a valid driver’s license, but the police chief said he wouldn’t describe him as a “sovereign citizen,” or someone who believes the government has no right to levy taxes or impose most laws, despite his other outspoken antigovernment views.
The Star-Tribune reported that Rogers’ Facebook postings “suggest a man with troubling interests involving racial superiority and irritation with authorities.”
One of the suspect’s neighbors, Bryan Best, told the newspaper that Buford Rogers “talked about white supremacist stuff.”
Profanity-laced postings on Rogers’ Facebook page from June 2011 express his antigovernment views: “The NWO [New World Order] has taken all your freedoms the right to bear arms freedom of speach [sic] freedom of the press,” one of his postings said, according to the newspaper.