FBI suspects had local storage unit
Two men arrested in connection with a yearlong FBI probe into a suspected plot to bomb a propane facility in Elk Grove, Calif., reportedly had ties to Carson City.
According to an affidavit filed by federal agents to support search warrants, Charles Dennis Kiles, 49, of Placerville, rented a storage unit in Carson City and Kevin Ray Patterson, 42, of Camino, Calif., paid the rent.
After searching several sites in California and Nevada, including one near the intersection of Willow and Cochise streets in Carson City, federal agents arrested the two men on federal firearms charges.
Patty Pontello, a department of justice spokeswoman, said investigators believe Patterson lived in Carson City at one time.
According to court records, neither man has been arrested in Carson City in the last five years.
The findings of a federal investigation into Patterson and others are outlined in court documents released Monday.
Patterson reportedly told an informant he wanted to bomb several Northern California targets to force authorities to declare martial law, potentially whipping up public unrest and helping the militia overthrow the U.S. government, the documents show.
Patterson and Kiles were scheduled to appear in federal court Monday on four felony weapons counts. Arraignment was postponed until today so they could obtain attorneys.
They and others may be indicted later for what federal agents say was a plot to blow up several storage tanks that together hold about 24 million gallons of liquid propane. The tanks are a few hundred yards from heavily traveled state Highway 99 and a half-mile from a subdivision.
”We do believe that there was a credible threat to the Suburban Propane facility and that Mr. Patterson as well as other individuals were involved in an attempt,” assistant U.S. attorney Jodi Rafkin told reporters after the brief hearing Monday.
She said searches of the men’s El Dorado County homes last week turned out ”items associated with the making of bombs” as well as ingredients for methamphetamine.
It could be several weeks before additional charges are filed against Patterson, Kiles and other unspecified people, she said.
The affidavit filed by the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to support the search warrants said that an informant told them Patterson had been talking about blowing up the propane tanks, which he called the ”twin sisters,” since June 1998.
The informant, Patterson and Kiles are all members of the San Joaquin County Militia, the document said.
The paid informant, who is cooperating with federal agents to get leniency in his own federal gun charges, said the militia ”intended to cause social unrest through violent criminal actions that cause the government to declare martial law.”
”It was further believed that if the government declares martial law, the militia will develop a public following and the current United States government will be overthrown by revolution,” the affidavit said.
Patterson reportedly told the informant at a Reno gun show last month that he and another person planned to blow up several Northern California targets, including the propane facility, a nearby electric substation and the California Aqueduct, the document said.