The leader of a Texas border militia had his photo taken with Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott only a few days before government agents arrested him and reportedly discovered ammonium nitrate and a weapons cache in his hotel room.
A photo posted by the leader, Kevin “KC” Massey, to Facebook showed the self-described “commanding officer” of the Camp Lonestar border militia shaking hands with Abbott at a restaurant in Brownsville, Texas, the San Antonio Express-News reported on Friday.
Massey appeared in military fatigues and his signature soul patch while Abbott smiled alongside him.
The newspaper reported the shot was taken on Oct. 16, four days before agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested Massey in Brownsville on weapons charges.
A spokeswoman for Abbott’s campaign told the Express-News that the candidate did not know anything about Massey or his group and that the men simply exchanged “pleasantries.”
“This individual was part of a photo line at a public event and Greg Abbott took a photo with everyone who was in the line at that event,” the spokeswoman said.
The ATF later searched Massey’s hotel room and discovered a cache of weapons and a supply of the explosive chemical ammonium nitrate, a substance that was used in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
Besides Massey’s own Facebook photo, since deleted, footage shot by local station KFXV showed Massey taking a photo of Abbott while standing in a crowd to meet the candidate: