The witness who tipped off the FBI to an alleged plot by Buford “Bucky” Rogers to bomb the Montevideo, Minn., police station feared he was going to become a target himself after he declined to participate in the attack, according to a federal court document made public Wednesday.
The witness, who had been living with Rogers’ parents in Montevideo, fled with his girlfriend after she overheard Rogers telling someone that her boyfriend “knew too much” so “they had to take him out.”
Rogers has been indicted on four weapons-related counts — being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing “unregistered destructive devices” including two Molotov cocktails, two “black powder nail devices” and a pipe bomb.
The man identified only as “Witness 1” fled to San Antonio, where he spoke to police, who brought in the FBI.
The allegations are contained in the application for a search warrant that was unsealed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeanne Graham.
The document says the witness met Rogers at a “pow wow” in Arizona. Buford told him “he hated the president and desired to return to the ‘cowboy days’ where everyone carried a gun.”
Buford invited him to Minnesota, where he stayed at Buford’s parents’ mobile home.
The witness alleged Buford “talked regularly about his plans to use his ‘Black Snake Militia’ to cut off connections to the city of Montevideo, to ‘take out’ a radio tower, to block communications to the city, to raid the National Guard armory and to attack the police station.”
He said Buford kept firearms and explosives at the mobile home and watched Buford “go to a range out in the country” and detonate explosives.
At Buford’s request, Witness 1 said he conducted a “recon” of a nearby water reservoir.
In late April, Buford told Witness 1 he wanted to attack the city the next weekend. He said he told Buford he would not participate because he “was not a killer,” and Buford said “he did not have to.” But fearing he might be a target, the witness “snuck out” of Montevideo April 29.
The FBI raided the mobile home May 3 and arrested Rogers.
The document said that in February another witness told Montevideo police he had seen Rogers, his brother and father doing “training” in the front yard of the mobile home including hand-to-hand combat and knife throwing.
Rogers father, Jeff, said on Tuesday that the witnesses were “lying through their teeth.”
Attorneys on both sides have declined interviews.
Attorney Dan Scott, a former chief federal public defender in Minnesota and who is not involved in the case, noted the grand jury indicted Rogers on “typical gun violations” and weapons charges. He said prosecutors may have decided they did not have enough for terrorism charges.
“All they had was the word of one guy, and you’re not going to go to a jury on the word of one person,” Scott said.