Hoarder of Arms Gets 11 Years

Los Angeles Times/May 5, 2004
By Scott Gold

Houston -- An East Texas man whose stockpile of weapons triggered an exhaustive investigation into a suspected domestic terrorism plot was sentenced Tuesday to 11 years in federal prison.

"For the record, I am neither a terrorist or a separatist," William J. Krar, 63, told U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis in Tyler, Texas, protesting how the government had characterized him. "I've never desired to hurt anyone or the country that I love."

Krar did not address lingering questions about the weapons cache he had amassed in recent years inside a storage facility in Noonday, a town about 100 miles southeast of Dallas.

The weapons included a sodium cyanide bomb that federal authorities said could have killed everyone inside a midsized civic building or a small basketball arena. The bomb's ingredients included 800 grams of nearly pure sodium cyanide, which can only be acquired legally for agricultural or military projects.

Krar pleaded guilty in November to possessing a dangerous chemical weapon and could have been sentenced to life in prison. He received a sentence of 11 years and three months Tuesday. Davis also ordered Krar to pay the federal government $29,600 to reimburse costs connected to the investigation.

Prosecutors did not return messages seeking comment Tuesday.

Krar's lawyer, Tonda Curry, questioned Davis' finding that the defendant's actions had resulted in a "substantial disruption of public service." But she thought the case was resolved fairly.

"He pleaded guilty to what he did," Curry said in an interview. "The government realized the limits of what he did."

Krar's wife, Judith L. Bruey, 55, was sentenced to four years and nine months in federal prison. She had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess chemical weapons.

Federal officials had said they thought Krar could have been involved in a domestic terrorism plot similar to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Krar, an arms dealer with connections to white supremacists, was arrested after he tried to send fake documents, including United Nations and Defense Department identification cards, through the mail. The package was delivered to the wrong address.

The documents had been addressed to a member of a New Jersey militia. The group, according to its website, thinks the federal government has grown too powerful. The militia is prepared "as a last resort to come to our nation's defense against all enemies, foreign or domestic."

Krar has declined to cooperate with investigators, and federal officials say they do not know why he was hoarding weapons. One FBI affidavit said authorities thought the weapons could have been intended for use in a "covert operation" that "could potentially include plans for future civil unrest and/or civil disorder against the United States government."

Two documents retrieved from a car that Krar had rented at the time of his arrest were titled "trip" and "procedure," and appeared to list code phrases, among other things. Investigators thought the phrases warned whether law enforcement officers were nearby or suspicious.

"Tornadoes are expected in our area," one document said, which federal officials interpreted to mean that "things [were] very hot; lay low or change your travel plans."

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