The FBI and other federal authorities say a Friday raid in which agents seized weapons from a Montevideo home prevented a planned terrorist attack and likely saved lives. Family members of the man arrested take exception to the claim, saying he is not a terrorist and his arrest may have been the product of a misunderstanding.
Police on Friday arrested Buford “Bucky” Rogers, 24, of Montevideo. The Bureau says agents took firearms and explosives including Molotov cocktails and an assault rifle. Rogers has a felony record, which prohibits him from owning a gun.
Monday, federal authorities said they were confident that they foiled a terror attack and possibly saved lives with the arrest in western Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports.
According to an FBI news release: "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 terror plot was discovered and subsequently thwarted through the timely analysis of intelligence and through the cooperation and coordination between" local, state and federal agencies.
The FBI's statement offers no details about the possible target of a plot. ABC News quotes Montevideo's police chief and other law enforcement sources in reporting that Rogers had started a group with anti-government tendencies called the Black Snake Militia, whose targets potentially included local authorities.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office also told ABC that authorities rushed to arrest Rogers on Friday to get him off the streets before an attack they believe was planned for the weekend. "We just wanted to get enough to get an arrest warrant to put him away before the weekend," Jeanne Cooney told the network.
An expert who researches militias for the Anti-Defamation League tells the Associated Press the Black Snake Militia seems to be an example of "little militia cells out there with 6-8 people" that have flourished around the country in recent years.
Buford Rogers' father is disputing the implication that his son is a terrorist. Jeffrey Rogers tells Fox 9 that the guns the FBI found belong to him.
Jeffrey Rogers says his son is part of the Black Snake Militia, and they just want freedom, WCCO reported. “They do not have nothing to fear from any of us,” Rogers said. “We are patriots.”
Sioux Falls television station KSFY also spoke with family members who defended Rogers and theorized a family friend who had recently stayed at the home may have contacted authorities.
Rogers was not allowed to possess firearms after a 2011 conviction for felony burglary in Lac qui Parle County. He also had a 2009 misdemeanor conviction for dangerous handling of a weapon in Hennepin County.
He made an initial court appearance Monday. Fox 9 reports he's being held without bail and his second appearance is set for Wednesday, when a public defender will be appointed to represent him.