FBI: ‘Las Vegas-style’ incident was concern in Greene County raid

The Spring Valley man who was indicted for having a firearm silencer and a missile warning system at his home will be detained before trial, a federal magistrate judge ruled Monday.

An FBI special agent testified Monday in Dayton’s U.S. District Court that Joel B. Montgomery left a text and a worrisome voicemail with someone he’s known for decades.

Special agent Brandt Pangburn said Montgomery, 48, said in the Sept. 26 voicemail that he needed to get out of town or he was going to kill somebody. Montgomery also allegedly said there was “a new prosecutor trying to make a name for himself,” the agent testified.

RELATED: Man federally indicted for having missile warning system

On Oct. 10 — about a week and a half after a shooter killed dozens and injured hundreds while shooting at concert goers from a Las Vegas high-rise hotel — the informant told the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms that they worried about a possible similar situation because of Montgomery’s drinking, according to the agent.

The informant said Montgomery had hundreds of weapons, thousands of rounds of ammunition and bomb-making materials.

After being arraigned and pleading not guilty, Montgomery was ordered by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Michael Newman to stay in jail while his case proceeds.

RELATED: Greene County man targeted in raids has twice sued federal government

Montgomery, a former Wright-Patterson Air Force Base employee and Air Force reservist, had his 2302 Schnebly Road residence raided in 2015 and 2017.

Montgomery’s charges are not tied to the Oct. 19. 2017 raid, but instead to 2015 search warrants.

Montgomery was indicted for having the silencer, the missile warning system and a “control countermeasures set display unit” used in aircraft self defense during the 2015 raids, according to court documents.

Prosecutors didn’t address why Montgomery was being prosecuted now for items found in the 2015 raid. Montgomery wasn’t previously charged in relation to the 2015 raid in either state or federal court.

Federal prosecutors Brent Tabacchi and Dwight Keller also raised concerns that Montgomery has been a licensed pilot, used private airports and that he flew to Colombia in 2015 to visit a coal plant in which he had a business interest.

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During the nearly two-hour hearing, the FBI special agent testified to the search finding several how-to books about weapons, hundreds of weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition. He also said a pressure cooker was found, as were chemicals, BBs, and an item that could be used as a mortar to fire an explosive.

A neighbor and friend of Montgomery’s, Donald Austin Jr., testified that people shooting was common in the neighborhood and that Montgomery is a good person who has raised good children.

Montgomery’s federal public defender, Cheryll Bennett, argued that Montgomery hasn’t flown after battling colon cancer, his planes aren’t operational, he has custody of his children and that the government wasn’t concerned about his drunk-driving citations or other misdemeanors when they returned his guns after a 2015 raid.

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Tabacchi asked several questions to Austin about statements Montgomery made about Austin that Austin agreed weren’t true. Austin said nearly all the neighbors in the area know and like Montgomery.

Tabacchi said that Montgomery’s drinking, the text and voicemail, having legal bomb-making materials along with weapons and the ability to make weapons made home electronic detention a “toxic brew.”

While acknowledging defense counsel’s argument that many of the items found in Montgomery’s home were legal, Newman ruled that no set of circumstances without bond would guarantee Montgomery’s appearance at further court hearings.

Montgomery has been held in the Montgomery County Jail since Oct. 18.


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