BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A Boston man, who authorities say adheres to an "anti-government extremist ideology," was arrested on Thanksgiving at an MBTA station in possession of a several weapons and a bullet-proof vest.
According to U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling, 47-year-old Pepo Herd El of Dorchester (also known as Pepo Wamchawi Herd El) took a bus early Thursday afternoon from his house to the Ruggles MBTA station, where he was detained and searched by special agents with FBI Boston's Joint Terrorism Task Force, pursuant to a search warrant.
According to the criminal complaint, El is suspected of compiling chemicals that can be used to manufacture explosives, and has been under law enforcement surveillance.
Police said when El was detained at Ruggles station, he was wearing a security jacket, although he is not believed to work as a security guard. During the search, law enforcement discovered that El, who is a felon and is prohibited from possession firearms and ammunition, was in possession of a loaded pistol, three spare fully-loaded magazines, a knife, and a bullet-proof vest.
"The defendant, who allegedly purchased a firearm and body armor, and material that could be used to assemble explosives, adheres to the anti-government/anti-authority sovereign citizen extremist ideology," Lelling's office said.
El, who is believed to be from Florida, was charged by criminal complaint with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Following an initial appearance, he was detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for December 2nd. El faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.
The investigation remains ongoing.
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