2 men indicted in RNC weapons counts

  • Article by: TIM HARLOW , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 24, 2008 - 7:49 PM

A federal indictment accuses the suspects of having weapons to be used against police during violent protests planned at the Republican National Convention

Two Texas men who are members of a group that planned to disrupt the Republican National Convention have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of possessing an unregistered firearm, possessing a firearm without a serial number and illegally manufacturing a firearm, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Minneapolis.

David Guy McKay, 22, and Bradley Neal Crowder, 23, both of Austin, allegedly possessed firearms that were not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record and firearms that did not contain serial numbers, as required by law. The actions took place Aug. 31 through Sept. 3, according to the indictment.

Crowder was arrested Sept. 1 on suspicion of disorderly conduct. McKay was arrested Sept. 3 after police searched a residence on Dayton Avenue in St. Paul.

According to an FBI affidavit, Crowder, the leader of the Austin Affinity Group, came to Minneapolis in May to meet with others to discuss plans for disrupting the convention, held Sept. 1-4 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Crowder and McKay, identified as a member of the group, brought a trailer filled with 35 shields, made from stolen traffic barrels, to St. Paul on Aug. 28. The shields were constructed with protruding screws to be used as weapons, the affidavit said.

Molotov cocktails

Both men also allegedly bought supplies for making Molotov cocktails at a St. Paul Wal-Mart on Aug. 31.

The men allegedly made eight of the cocktails, stored them at the Dayton Avenue residence and planned to throw them at law enforcement vehicles in a nearby parking lot patrolled by members of the U.S. Secret Service and the military, the affidavit said.

During electronic surveillance conducted on Sept. 2, law-enforcement officials overheard McKay saying that "it's worth it if an officer gets burned or maimed," the indictment said.

The same day, police searched the residence and found gas masks, slingshots, helmets, knee pads and a two-gallon gasoline container believed to be the one the men bought Aug. 31 at Wal-Mart. Officers also found eight Molotov cocktails, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Crowder and McKay could face 10 years in prison on each of the three charges if convicted.

Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768

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