Illegal bombs, bullets and guns were seized from men young and old in recent months. In each of the cases, which together represented an unusual burst of such activity, there was evidence that those charged held antigovernment, survivalist or racist views. The accused ranged from their late teens to their 60s.
Mark Campano of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, pleaded not guilty in federal court in January to possession of destructive devices not registered with the federal government. They included about three dozen pipe bombs and bomb components, 17 rifles and pistols, including a revolver equipped with a homemade silencer, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Authorities learned of the arsenal after Campano accidentally detonated one of the pipe bombs in his apartment, causing him to lose parts of two fingers.
Campano’s 77-year-old mother said her son was simply indulging in a hobby. But a one-time neighbor said the former anesthesiologist continually tried to get her and another neighbor to watch and listen to antigovernment video and audiotapes. In denying Campano’s request for bail, a federal judge said she could not “imagine legal, non-dangerous uses for such an arsenal.”
A Missouri jury needed only nine minutes in January to convict Robert Joos Jr. of two felony weapons and explosives charges. Federal agents found 15 firearms, more than 19,000 ammunition rounds and bomb-making parts such as fuses and blasting caps at Joos’ rural home. The agents acted after white supremacist twins Dennis and Daniel Mahon (who separately face trial for allegedly injuring an Arizona official with a mail bomb) reportedly told undercover informants that Joos’ 200-acre property was used as a training facility for racist radicals.