Feds: Boardman teen posted bomb ingredients
The Boardman teen accused of threatening the lives of federal agents posted instructions on how to make a device that could turn a semi-automatic into a machine gun, according to federal prosecutors who are trying to keep Justin Olsen behind bars.
A court document filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman also alleges that the 18-year-old posted a photo of items in an online shopping cart that could be used to make bombs.
The allegations are included in the government’s response to Olsen’s attorney Jerry Ingram, who is appealing Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr.’s conclusion that Olsen should remain in jail because he is a danger to the community.
A federal grand jury indicted Olsen after being arrested at his father’s Boardman home in August.
Investigators say Olsen had 4,000 online followers under the name “ArmyOfChrist” and posted statements and memes that included an adult male firing machine guns, with the caption: “me walking into the nearest Planned Parenthood.”
According to investigators, Olson promised that if he got up to 5,000 subscribers, they would make a video on how to make an AR auto sear out of a wire coat hanger.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms says an AR auto sear is a device used to convert a semi-automatic AR-15 into an automatic rifle.
The government’s response includes a picture of instructions on how to make an AR-15 auto sear using a coat hanger allegedly posted by Olsen.
Another government exhibit shows a photo of an online shopping cart allegedly posted by Olsen showing items that could be used to make bombs. The shopping cart contained five pounds of black iron oxide, one pound of aluminum powder, wire nails, pipe nipples, and schedule 40 pipe.
Olsen has told investigators that he was merely “joking” and his attorney notes in the appeal that the government presented no evidence at a detention hearing that Olsen had actually taken any steps or action to shoot federal agents.
Defense attorney Ingram points out that Olsen’s father told the court that he is the owner of the 10,000 rounds of ammunition, several guns, body armor, and machete found at the father’s Oakridge Drive home when Olsen was arrested.
Government attorneys concede that Olsen’s father testified that everything that was found by law enforcement belonged to him. However, they argue that the loaded firearm, firearm pieces, optics, magazines, buttstocks, ammunition, blow-out kits, crossbows, and information about school shootings were accessible by Olsen.
Olsen’s father had a gun safe with over 26 weapons in it, and he testified that he did not allow Olsen access to it. However, he had taken his son shooting in the past. Olsen’s father also testified that he was aware of some of his son’s ideologies, but still allowed him access to weapons, according to prosecutors.
“Olsen argues that since he had not yet acted on any of his threats, or purchased any firearms, that he does not pose a danger to the community. However, he did encourage violence and encouraged others to act on his beliefs by shooting federal agents on sight,” according to the Assistant U.S. Attorney’s response.
Olsen’s attorney wants Judge Oliver to release Olsen on $20,000 bond on the condition that he stay with his mother and be prohibited from going online, subject to unannounced searches of the home and his computer.
A final pre-trial conference in the case is scheduled for October 16 with a trial scheduled for October 31.
Olsen remains in the Mahoning County Jail.