By JJ MacNab | July 6, 2009
The prosecution zipped through 14 witnesses today, mostly on the subject of explosives and firearms.Â The jury must be getting numb from the steady parade of freaky stuff designed to kill other human beings.Â There were at least 16 rifles (including those three massive 50 caliber monsters), three handguns, 21 pipe bombs, a couple dozen handmade black power with taped nails grenades, explosive devices in the trees, tear gas canisters, 10+ booby trap devices, and more than 60,000 rounds of ammunition in and around the Brown house at the time of their arrest.
While Elaine made good money as a dentist â€“ especially considering that she paid no taxes on that income â€“Â the amount that the two of them must have been spent preparing for this standoff dwarfs any profits she may have made from the dental practice.Â Where did the money come from?
Witness Gregory Klees
Mr. Klees is a Firearms Examiner with the ATF.Â During the standoff, various supporters purchased and brought guns to the Plainfield residence.Â This witness tried to restore the serial numbers on two of the rifles and determined that all of the weapons in the house were operable.
Witness Alison Rees
Ms. Rees is a fingerprint expert at the ATF.Â She found 48 latent prints on the various items collected by the ATF and matched 40 of them as Edâ€™s.Â Edâ€™s fingerprints were found on the scope for a 50 caliber rifle and on various pieces of tape holding roofing nails to the black powder IEDs.
Witness Albert Lindquist
Mr. Lindquist is retired but worked for the Alstead Gun Shop in Alstead, NH.Â Â On 7/20/2007 and 7/23/2007, he sold three Ruger Rifles to Jason Gerhard.Â Jason paid by American Express card.
Witness Richard Tatem
Mr. Tatem works at the Stoneagle gun store in Newport, NH. On 5/23/2007, he sold two Serbu 50 caliber rifles to Danny Riley and Reno Gonzalez.Â Reno picked his gun up on June 1st and Danny on June 5th.Â In other words, the big guns were brought to the house just days prior to the June 7th aborted attempt to arrest the Browns (â€œDogwalker Dayâ€.)Â Danny paid by cash, and Reno paid by check.
Witness John Francis DiBernardo, Jr.
Mr. DiBernardo works at the Alstread Gun Store and sold three guns to Jason Gerhard.Â On 1/21/07 â€“ just a few days into the standoff â€“ Jason purchased a Bushamaster Carbon 15 assault-type rilfe.Â On April 4, 2007, he purchased an M44 rifles, and on July 25, 2007, he purchased an enormous 47-pound Serbu BMG-50 rifle.Â When the DOJ investigator stands next to the gun in the room with the gun butt resting on the floor, the rifle comes up to his chin.
Witness Ernie Yerrington
Mr. Yerrington is a Special Agent with the ATF.Â His job was to take the various weapons into custody after the Plainfield home was cleared by the bomb guys (go Malboro Man!) and everything was photographed.Â He detailed all of the various rifles and handguns found in the home and pointed out which were manufactured in New Hampshire (the three Rugers) and which involved interstate commerce (everything else.)Â Upon hearing the phrase â€œinterstate commerce,â€ Ed got excited.Â I guess he figured that his â€œcommercial law remedyâ€ scam was finally rearing its ugly head in the trial.Â
Witness Barton Shane MacDonald
Mr. MacDonald wanted to rent office space from Elaine after sheâ€™d gone home to join the Plainfield standoff.Â He and his two partners met Reno at the dental practice and couple of time and then drove up to the Plainfield home to negotiate the terms with Elaine.Â
When he got near the home, Mr. MacDonald called ahead and let the Browns know he was driving down the driveway.Â Since he was arriving in a blue Suburban and didnâ€™t want to be confused a federal agent.Â Ed came out to meet them and was armed.Â
Witnessâ€™ partner:Â What in hell are we doing here?
Elaine was friendly and knowledgeable, but Ed was off-putting since he placed his gun on the dining room table between them.
Witness:Â So I thought, â€œHeâ€™s probably got a better negotiating position than I do.â€
Reno was standing guard in the kitchen, also armed.
The deal fell through when the US Treasury seized the building on June 7th.
Witness:Â With everything covered in yellow ribbon, that wasnâ€™t going to be a good real estate office any more.
Witness Sean Harrington
Mr. Harrington is a trooper with the NH State Police.Â He pulled Jason over for speeding during the standoff and saw a rifle in the back seat.
Witness Christopher Edward Waskey
Mr. Waskey is a Special Agent with the Criminal Investigation division of the Internal Revenue Service.Â Several miscellaneous items were introduced through this witness, such as a bullhorn, a couple of industrial spotlight, night vision goggles, and gas masks.
Witness Michael Charles Powell
Mr. Powell is a Firearms Enforcement Officer with the ATF in West Virginia.Â His testimony addressed the booby trap devices that were being assembled.Â A trip wire would remove a cotter pin and the device would fire.Â One set of such devices was built to hold a 12 gauge shotgun shell, the others were made for 410 shells.Â The witness was apparently not to discuss whether these booby traps qualified under federal law as â€œdestructive devicesâ€ but Elaineâ€™s lawyer asked the question, so the topic was raised.
Witness Aaron McIntire
Mr. McIntire is the Battalion Chief of the Concord Fire Department and he explained to the jury what a Self Contained Breathing Apparatus was.Â Ed and Elaine had two of them at a cost of $3,000 each.
Witness Daniel J. Tanner
Mr. Tanner is the manufacturer of Tannerite, a binary explosive that is designed to be used to let a shooter know when heâ€™s hit his target in long range target practice. Â Prior to mixing, Tannerite is inert, and after mixing, it is a powerful explosive that can only be detonated when hit with a high velocity round.
When used properly at a safe distance, you shoot it, it make a loud boom, it explodes into a big white cloud, and the shooter enjoys himself a little too much in public.
When put up in Ziploc baggies in the trees and on the carriage house around your driveway, you shoot it, it creates a nasty concussive force, sends nails, splinters, and plastic nasties flying, and does a lot of damage to anyone standing nearby.
Danny ordered the Tannerite from Mr. Tanner in late May, 2007, and immediately after Dogwalker Day on June 7th, called Mr. Tanner to cancel the order since the Marshals just didnâ€™t see the use of high explosives as fun and games.Â It was too late; the Tannerite had already shipped to Dannyâ€™s home in New York, and the dumb dumb still took it to the Browns, even though the Marshals were aware of Dannyâ€™s purchase.
Witness Cathy Smith
Ms. Smith is another Special Agent with the IRS Criminal Investigation division.Â She was at the house supervising the installation of a security alarm system in late October, 2007.Â The installation guys needed to go into empty elevator shaft to run some wiring and lo and behold, what did they find there but a â€¦
Defense Lawyer:Â Sidebar, your honor.
The witness was dismissed.
Witness Jamie Berry
Mr. Berry is a Deputy US Marshal and is apparently the last witness in the governmentâ€™s case.Â He was among the Marshals who went to the Brown home in 2006 to remove the guns as a condition of Ed and Elaineâ€™s pre-trial release.Â When Elaine opened the gun safe, he saw a shrink-wrapped block of cash, roughly 12 inches by 12 inches by an unknown depth.
Mr. Berry was also in charge of monitoring the internet and the supportersâ€™ computers. He showed the jury a series of email messages between Danny Riley and Reno Gonzalez discussing the purchase of guns and ammo for Ed.
Mr. Berry will return to the stand tomorrow, and the prosecutors have indicated that they will rest tomorrow morning.
The jury hasn’t heard any of the big splashy threats made by both Ed and Elaine over the months, but perhaps the government is waiting to introduce that evidence as part of their rebuttal case.
- Elaineâ€™s birthday if Valentineâ€™s Day, Dannyâ€™s is Christmas Day, andÂ Reno was born on the Ides of March.