Skip to comments.East Texas man with cyanide cache gets 11 years
Posted on 05/05/2004 1:31:46 PM PDT by weegee
TYLER -- An itinerate gun dealer caught with a cache of poison gas, machine guns and other weapons in an East Texas storage facility was sentenced Tuesday to more than 11 years in federal prison.
But William J. Krar's motives, and those of his common-law wife, Judith Bruey, remain unknown to federal officials, who cast the case as a victory against domestic terrorism.
"To the extent there was any plot to use these weapons, that plot was thwarted," said U.S. Attorney Matthew Orwig of the Eastern District of Texas.
The couple has given only limited statements to investigators since their arrests in April 2003, FBI Supervisory Special Agent Peter Galbraith said, and so their precise plans, if any, could not be learned.
Krar, 63, a slight man with thick glasses and longish gray hair, told U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis he had "never been in serious trouble."
"For the record, I am not a terrorist or a separatist. I never desired to hurt anyone or this country that I love," he said.
Krar, who was sentenced to 11 years and three months, pleaded guilty in November to one count of possessing a dangerous chemical weapon. Bruey, who was sentenced to four years and nine months, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess illegal weapons.
Krar was also ordered to pay the government $29,600 in restitution, the government's cost of sending a hazardous materials team to Noonan, just south of Tyler, to clean out his arsenal.
Defense lawyer Eric Albritton told the judge that Bruey was unaware that Krar possessed sodium cyanide and other chemicals.
"She is not the driving force behind this," he told the judge.
"I've seen nothing to suggest they're political extremists," Albritton said afterward. He called his client a "typical middle-aged housewife" who was deeply in love with "an eccentric," "an unusual person."
He conceded, however, that Bruey declined to cooperate with federal investigators.
The case began to develop in January 2002, when a package of fake identification documents was mistakenly delivered to Staten Island, N.Y.
Federal agents traced it to a mailing center near Tyler, then to Bruey and Krar, who had moved to Noonan from New Hampshire in 2001.
In several storage sheds rented by the couple, agents found nearly half a million rounds of ammunition, blasting caps, pipe bombs, silencers, machine guns and more than 800 grams of almost pure sodium cyanide, enough to kill everyone in a one-story, 30,000-square-foot building within a minute.
"Anyone possessing that has to be considered very dangerous," Galbraith said.
William Krar, 63, is escorted by a federal officer after his sentencing Tuesday at the U.S. Courthouse in Tyler.
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