In Gaston County, North Carolina, three men have been arrested for gathering a large arsenal and constructing explosives in response to a feared government invasion known as Jade Helm, reports the Asheville Citizen Times.
The three men: Walter Eugene Litteral, 50, Christopher James Barker, 41, and Christopher Todd Campbell, 30, were arrested after the FBI had investigated them for over a month. The FBI’s investigation began when it learned that the men were attempting to make homemade bombs, which Litteral reportedly referred to as “game changers.”
According to the criminal complaint, Litteral planned to make explosives out of tennis balls covered in nails and coffee cans filled with ball bearings.
Litteral also purchased Kevlar helmets, body armor, face masks and hand-held radios in preparation for what the group feared would soon be a military invasion. Litteral also allegedly planned to purchase an assault rifle and ammunition for Barker. Barker cannot purchase a firearm or ammunition for himself due to his prior convictions for cocaine and stolen goods.
The men are due for detention hearings Thursday. They face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $250,000 fine. Campbell has also been charged with a separate firearm charge that carries a maximum punishment of 10 years and a $10,000 fine.