Authorities in Oklahoma are on the hunt for a man who didn’t show up for a court appearance Monday for his rape trial, and who has ties to the Oathkeeper movement and believes his arrest was part of a government conspiracy.
Charles Dyer, a former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq, was arrested and charged in January of 2010 on two separate counts — one charge of possessing an unregistered grenade launcher that was registered as stolen from a military base in California, and one charge of raping a minor. In April, a judge declared a mistrial after the jury couldn’t reach a decision.
In a bizarre twist, Dyer’s house burnt down on Friday — and his girlfriend was arrested for suspected arson, according to KFOR News.
“We’re sure he’s going to be armed,” said Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney of Dyer. “There’s no doubt about that.”
McKinney also said that Dyer had begun posting messages threatening local law enforcement: “If the sheriff’s office came to his house, he was loading his weapons and putting his bullet-proof vest on and having a showdown with us.”
“What concerns me is his ties with some of these very radical groups,” McKinney said.
Dyer’s family members gave Oklahoma’s News 9 a three-page e-mail he sent to his attorney early Monday morning. “I have taken this final opportunity while I am still alive to make a statement to the public,” Dyer writes.
“I have been pushed to the limits multiple times by law enforcement and the judicial system in an attempt to cause me to take violent action against them,” he continued. “If I do, I know I will be the monster they depict me as.”
“Our judicial system is nothing more than a system of liars and crooks working under the color of the law, where the rich go free and the poor are made to suffer injustice. Something MUST be done to expose it,” Dyer wrote.
He also had a message for his parents: “If you do not hear from me within 90 days, then I am dead and I have failed you.”
Dyer, who became known for posting YouTube videos under the name July 4 Patriot, is a member of the Oathkeeper militia movement, and also had ties to the Tea Party. Here’s one video of Dyer and other Oathkeepers:
“I’m certainly not going to be hiding from my command anymore. I’m not hiding from ATF. Not hiding from FBI. Any organization. If they want to come get me I’m not going to be afraid,” Dyer says in the video.
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