What were men arrested for 'unregistered explosives' planning to do?

Posted at 2:28 PM, May 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-20 19:38:48-04

FRANKLIN, Ohio — Federal agents surrounded the Franklin home Ryan King shared with his wife and two children on the morning of Feb. 11.

Agents from the FBI found semi-automatic rifles, about 2,000 rounds of ammunition, and equipment for a homemade explosive device.

King was arrested.

Ninety miles southeast of Franklin, federal agents executed a second warrant at the Ripley farm owned by King's friend, Randy Goodman.

Goodman was also arrested. A search of his 120-acre spread discovered semi-automatic rifles and ammunition.

A federal grand jury charged Goodman, 53, and King, 37, with violating the National Firearms Act for possessing unregistered explosives.

King and Goodman are members of a militia group called the United Sheepdogs of Ohio, according to the indictment.

The men established a "special projects team" and advocated that the team construct, use and stockpile explosives they called "crater makers," the indictment reveals.

The indictment provides details — dates, locations and topics — from nine conversations between King and Goodman. Their discussions appear to have been recorded using devices inside King's house and a building on Goodman's farm. While federal prosecutors don't disclose how the recordings were made, they provided screenshots of video recorded on the properties owned by Goodman and King.

Dec. 8, 2018 - King hosts a Christmas party for the Sheepdogs at his home. According to the indictment, King and Goodman discussed explosives.

"This could go under a front seat of a car very easily, engine of a car, wired into the breaking," King allegedly told Goodman.

"I like that," Goodman allegedly responded. "That's the method I like."

Jan. 18, 2019 - At Goodman's farm, the men talked about pressure cooker bombs like the ones used at the Boston Marathon in 2013, the indictment said. Those bombs killed three and injured nearly 300.

“Do we know how they built the pressure cookers for the Boston bombers?” Goodman asked King, according to the indictment.

Goodman, according to the indictment, mentioned that the bombs probably used "a lot of freaking black powder, shrapnel, BB's" and had the benefit of being triggered from a distance simply by calling a cell phone attached to the device.

“You could build these devices with a pipe bomb rigged to it or two," King responded, according to the indictment. "They could just be sitting somewhere ready to deploy.

"I want to focus on making these anti-personnel," King continued. "I think these will be a lot more useful to us. We can build land mines. I've already built them before, you know that."

"I'm going to make some of them crater makers," Goodman responded to King, according to the indictment. "I like that."

Where the Case Stands Now

Three months after their arrest, King and Goodman are in jail. They are being held without bond.

In a motion filed on April 4 for review of King's detention order, King's Attorney Hal Arenstein emphasized that all of King's weapons and ammunition had been purchased legally.

Arenstein added "all of the weapons have been sold and are no longer in the house."

U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott declined to review King's detention.

During a status conference on May 15, Judge Dlott gave attorneys an additional thirty days to prepare their cases.

In her order, Judge Dlott revealed that all parties told her King and Goodman will likely reach plea agreements.

The next hearing is scheduled for June 12.

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