Two men who allegedly purchased explosive material they may have been planning to use in protests in Ferguson, Mo. were arrested by the FBI on weapons charges, multiple news outlets reported late Friday.
An indictment returned Wednesday and unsealed Friday accused Brandon Orlando Baldwin and Olajuwon Davis of lying on forms to purchase guns, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
The indictment states that between Nov. 1 and Nov. 13 the men purchased two Hi-Point .45 ACP pistols claiming that Baldwin was the buyer while the weapons were actually intended for someone else, according to the newspaper.
Anonymous law enforcement sources told CBS News and Reuters that Baldwin and Davis also allegedly purchased explosive material for potential use in protests around Ferguson, where a grand jury decision on whether to indict white police Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown is imminent.
Police sources told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Reuters and ABC News that the two men are suspected of being affiliated with the New Black Panther Party. A source briefed on the arrests told ABC News that the weapons charges were filed against the two men in order to “take them out of the rotation.”
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) declared a state of emergency Monday and activated the Missouri National Guard to assist local law enforcement in responding to any unrest following the grand jury decision. The FBI has also sent about 100 agents to St. Louis ahead of the announcement, according to ABC News.