The PoliBlog

The Collective
Friday, April 27, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via ABC News: ATF Raids Alabama Militia, Finds Weapons, Drug Cache

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced a major weapons bust Thursday after executing search warrants at the Alabama homes of six members of the Alabama Free Militia.

Among the slew of weapons recovered by federal authorities — with the help of state and local law enforcement as well as area bomb squads — were 130 grenades, a grenade launcher, 70 improvised explosive devices and a pair of gun silencers.

In one of the homes, officers say, they uncovered booby traps during their search. Authorities also seized more than 120 marijuana plants and enough ammunition to fill a U-Haul trailer.


The Birmingham News has more details (Militia raid targets weapons):

Simultaneous raids carried out in four Alabama counties Thursday turned up truckloads of explosives and weapons, including 130 grenades, an improvised rocket launcher and 2,500 rounds of ammunition belonging to the small, but mightily armed, Alabama Free Militia.

Six alleged members of the Free Militia also were arrested by federal authorities and are being held without bond.

Investigators said the DeKalb County-based group had not made any specific threats or devised any plots, but was targeted for swift dismantling because of its heavy firepower. The militia, which called itself the Naval Militia at one point, had enough armament to outfit a small army.


The ATF investigation, launched about seven weeks ago, climaxed Thursday with more than 150 federal, state and local law enforcement officers carrying out raids in DeKalb, Marshall, Etowah and Jefferson counties beginning about 6 a.m.

The counties in question are marked on the map below:

(The larger image can be found here).

The arrested:

Arrested and detained in federal custody were Dillard, also known as Jeff Osborne, 46, of Collinsville; Adam Lynn Cunningham, 41, of Collinsville; Bonnell Hughes, 57, of Crossville; Randall Garrett Cole, 22, of Gadsden; James Ray McElroy, 20, of Collinsville; and Michael Wayne Bobo, 30, of Trussville.

All but Bobo are charged with conspiracy to make a firearm, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Bobo is charged with being a drug user in possession of a firearm, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The six men appeared Thursday afternoon in Birmingham’s federal courthouse before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Armstrong Jr. The men were being held Thursday night in the Shelby County jail.

And I must confess, I was envisioning arrests at trailers in the woods, not in neighborhoods with $600,000 homes:

Bobo was living with his adoptive parents in the Lancshire Brentwood neighborhood in Trussville, a fairly new subdivision near the Cahaba Project with tree-lined streets and brick homes that cost upward of $600,000. He worked for his family’s pest control company.


His red pickup truck, usually parked at the house, displays bumper stickers such as “Welcome to the South, Now Go Home,” “The Second Amendment: `You do not know you need it until they come to take it away’ - Thomas Jefferson” and “Work Harder, Millions on Welfare Depend on You.”

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  1. I don’t know whether the grenades and IED stuff is true but the 2,500 rounds of ammunition is nothing.

    I hunt and shoot recreationally and I have far more rounds than that in my basement. For example when I find .22 ammunition on sale I will buy it in 500 round bricks.

    A busy weekend shooting trap or skeet at the range with a shotgun will go through 4 or 5 hundred rounds.

    So - while these guys might be really scary - it isn’t because of the “horde” of ammunition.

    Comment by t — Friday, April 27, 2007 @ 6:08 pm

  2. I guess .22 hunting rounds are one thing. I’m not sure what kind of ammuniton this was. If it was for a pea shooter no biggie, I’m with you.

    If it was armor piercing .50 cal. . . well, you know as well as I, there are a lot of types of ammo out there, made for different purposes, some less innocuous than yours.

    Comment by CPT D — Friday, April 27, 2007 @ 10:29 pm

  3. Speaking as an uninformed person (I’m just not comfortable with guns, never been around them), define a round? Is a round a single bullet/slug/shell, or is a round a series of that, like a clip?

    Comment by Joshua Smith — Saturday, April 28, 2007 @ 3:41 am

  4. Round refers to a single bullet/slug/bullet.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Saturday, April 28, 2007 @ 10:34 am

  5. t:

    Given that they have photos of the IEDs and such, I think it is fair to say that their weapons cache makes them pretty scary.

    Clearly if all they had were 2500 rounds for a hunting rifle, the ATF wouldn’t be coming to the door.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Saturday, April 28, 2007 @ 10:37 am

  6. Well this is what happens when ILLEGAL MEXICANS overrun our country and instead of enforcing our laws….the government invites MORE of them in(by NOT enforcing the laws!)…people can only take so much…..I know I’m sure getting tired of the drugs and crime the Mexicans have brought to Idaho…it’s SICKENING!

    Comment by MK — Wednesday, May 2, 2007 @ 5:55 pm

  7. Really guys, 2500 rounds of any ammo is nothing.

    Pictures of IED’s, big deal. Are we going to censor information now, just because you are scared of it.

    Looks to me like a violation of the Second Amendment. Did these guys do anything bad? Did they attack anyone? Did they commit a crime other then owning something that the Government says they should not own? Is the law even legal that says they cannot own what ever it was?

    Comment by Chris — Thursday, May 3, 2007 @ 2:06 am

  8. Who said anything about censorship?

    It may well be that there is less here than originally reported. Still, the Second Amendment doesn’t cover homemade explosives…

    My guess is that if these guys were of Arabic descent, some of the comments above would look quite a bit different…

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Thursday, May 3, 2007 @ 6:56 am

  9. This country needs more men like thease. If our elected officials can’t protect Americans from the slime that comes across the border, then brave men like the ones who were wrongfully arested need to step up to the plate and protect this country themselves! If thease men had bonds set, I would gladly help them with money.

    Comment by David Palmisano — Friday, May 4, 2007 @ 5:32 pm

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