A federal judge decided to keep a man suspected of firearms violations in custody, after a US attorney argued he made threats against law enforcement officers and may be in possession of explosives.
Federal agents had been investigating Schuyler Barbeau since June of this year for making threats to law enforcement. After his hearing in U.S. District court Monday, his mother and brother walked out to the courthouse steps to join others who showed up to support him. All of them under the careful watch of a beefed up security detail.
"I raised him and he has very very strong principles," his mother Stacy Milam said. " He's out to fight against something that is way bigger than he is. I am proud of him, I am so proud of him."
His mother says Barbeau is a veteran who served with the Marines and the National Guard. His friends say he was with Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy last year, during an armed standoff with authorities when the feds tried to enforce grazing fees on government owned property.
"What Schuyler realizes is my government is going to violate constitutional rights and they are going to shoot. I better be prepared," said Barbeau supporter Jason Patrick.
The FBI eventually arrested Barbeau for illegally possessing an assault rifle, that because of its short barrel required a federal firearms registration. But authorities believe he poses a much greater danger.
Today, the assistant U.S. attorney told the judge that Barbeau was trying to buy a .50 caliber rifle that would be quote "advantageous" in a shootout with law enforcement. And that he was seen in photos posing next to explosives that federal agents have yet to locate.
The Seattle office of the F.B.I. said it was worried about Barbeau and his supporters.
"We recently arrested an individual on a domestic terrorism charge. That has caused us some concerns, in the sense - how are his followers, or his friends, how are they going to react?" said Special Agent In Charge Frank Montoya Jr.
But his family says Barbeau is just trying to protect the rights of his fellow citizens, and sometimes gets caught up in inflammatory rhetoric.
"He gets pretty emotional when things are happening and injustices are happening around him. And he tends to say some things that maybe I wouldn't say," said Milam. " But I don't believe at all that he is out to start there is any part of him that is out to start anything with anybody."