Defense: Public Misinformed in Alleged Minn. Terror Case
The defense attorney for a man arrested in what the FBI has called a thwarted terror plot in western Minnesota said Wednesday there has been misinformation given to the public about his client.
Buford Rogers, 24, of Montevideo appeared in U.S. District Court in St. Paul for a scheduled detention hearing Wednesday. But his attorney, Andrew Mohring, asked that the hearing be postponed so he could investigate the accusations against his client.
Rogers is charged with one count of illegally possessing a firearm. He was arrested Friday after authorities found a cache of explosives and weapons in a mobile home in Montevideo.
"There has been a great deal of information and misinformation that has been released, and it should never have happened, and it should stop," Mohring said in court.
U.S. Magistrate Jeanne Graham granted the request to postpone the detention hearing, and said if a motion for a gag order was brought before her, she would consider it.
"I will make no judgment on whether anything that has been released up to now is either accurate or inaccurate," Graham said.
She said she would "dispense justice from within the walls of the courtroom."
Rogers will remain in custody.
The FBI said earlier this week that it stopped a terror attack that was in its planning stages, potentially saving the lives of several Montevideo residents. The motive behind the alleged plot has not been released, but police have said Rogers has militia ties.
Montevideo Police Chief Adam Christopher has said the Rogers family started a local anti-government militia group called the Black Snake Militia. The group is small, consisting of members of the Rogers family and a few friends, Christopher said.
Several postings on Rogers' Facebook page contain anti-government sentiment. His page features a military vehicle as his profile picture, and other pictures of Rogers with weapons.
According to a federal affidavit, FBI agents from the domestic terrorism squad searched the mobile home in Montevideo and discovered a cache of explosives and firearms. The affidavit said Buford was there at the time, and one firearm recovered from the residence was a Romanian AKM assault rifle.
In an interview with authorities, Rogers admitted firing the weapon on two separate occasions at a gun range in Granite Falls, the affidavit said. Rogers has a 2011 conviction for felony burglary and is not allowed to have a firearm.
Montevideo, a city of about 5,000 people, is about 130 miles west of Minneapolis.
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