FBI agents investigating domestic terrorism and threats against the government have arrested a Washington man for possessing an illegal rifle
Federal agents responsible for investigating domestic terrorism have arrested a Washington man they claim to be affiliated with the right-wing “patriot” movement for possessing an assault-style rifle with an illegal short barrel, according to court documents.
Schuyler Pyatte Barbeau appeared Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler, who ordered him held pending a hearing Dec. 14 to determine whether Barbeau will be allowed to represent himself. Unless he is indicted, Barbeau will appear for a preliminary hearing Dec. 21.
According to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force was alerted by a “confidential” source to “potential threats to law enforcement” made by Barbeau.
The source told agents that Barbeau — who claims on his Facebook page to be an ex-U.S. Marine — spoke frequently about how “the federal government was not abiding by the principles set forth in the Constitution and that many public servants, such as judges and police officers who had sworn to uphold it, had deviated from their oath of office,” according to court documents.
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Barbeau told the source it was his duty to educate errant public servants and “discussed ‘lynching’ those he deemed unworthy if necessary,” according to a complained filed under seal Dec. 2. Barbeau and others discussed that they would ”physically remove” an unidentified California judge presiding over a misdemeanor-weapons charge Barbeau was facing in that state.
The charge in Washington alleges the confidential source told FBI that Barbeau always carried a .45-caliber handgun and frequently carried an AR-15 rifle, body armor and a helmet in his car.
Barbeau, on his Facebook page, claims he was a member of the security detail for the family of renegade right-wing rancher Cliven Bundy during a standoff with federal agents at Bundy’s ranch in Nevada over grazing fees.
Armed members of the so-called “patriot movement” had a large presence during the confrontation.
The rifle, according to the confidential source, had a very short-barrel — 10.5 inches long — which would violate federal firearms laws requiring rifles to have barrels at least 16 inches long. Owning one with a shorter barrel requires a special license and registration, which Barbeau did not have, according to the court documents.
In October, the confidential source reported he went to a trailer where Barbeau lived in Springdale, Stevens County, where Barbeau discussed selling the short-barreled rifle, along with custom optics and a longer replacement barrel, for $5,000. The source said Barbeau was looking to buy a semi-automatic rifle in a larger caliber, because he “believed this type of rifle would be more effective in shootouts with law enforcement.”
Barbeau was charged after he told the source he wanted to sell the gun and dropped it off at the source’s home and asked him to “obtain the money from the buyer as soon as possible.”
Barbeau faces up to 10 years in federal prison if convicted, which would preclude him from owning guns.