An ex-military man with ties to the Tea Party and militia movements has been charged in separate complaints with raping a minor and with possessing an unregistered grenade launcher.
Charles Dyer, a former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq, was arrested January 12 in Oklahoma on the rape charge. A child had told sexual-abuse experts about a January 2nd incident at Dyer’s home.
But while sheriff’s deputies were at Dyer’s home making the arrest, according to court documents, they found several firearms and what they believed to be a Colt M-203, 40-millimeter grenade launcher.
When they searched a national crime database, the deputies found that the grenade launcher was one of three stolen from a military base at Fort Irwin, Calif., in 2006. According to an affidavit, Dyer told law enforcement that he had received the grenade launcher “from his best friend who gave it to him while Dyer was stationed in California with the Marine Corps.”
It’s not clear what Dyer might want with a grenade launcher. But he has declared himself a proud member of Oath Keepers, an organization that aims to enlist ex-military and law enforcement personnel, and has stoked fears that the federal government may try to seize Americans’ guns and round people up into concentration camps.
In this video, Dyer appears at a Tea Party event to promote the Oath Keepers and to rail against what the group — perhaps uniquely — sees as the federal government’s overzealous response to Hurricane Katrina.
And in another video, filmed during a militia training exercise, Dyer frankly declares his intention to become a domestic terrorist, and taunts the federal government.
“Join the military?” he asks. “Depends on what you want to do with it. Me? I’m going to use my training and become one of those domestic terrorists that you’re so afraid of from the DHS reports.”
I’m certainly not going to be hiding from my command anymore. I’m not hiding from ATF. Not hiding from FBI. Any organization. If they want to come get me I’m not going to be afraid,” Dyer said. “Patriots we are not overpowered. If we united under one banner and fight for our children’s liberty and the constitution, our resolve is invincible to any standing army.
Dyer was charged last week by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Forearms with possessing an unregistered destructive device, and is currently in federal custody.