By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Militia members are up in arms following the arrest of an ex-Marine in Oklahoma. A local blogger tracking the story said he and an Oklahoma sheriff are now the target of their threats.
Twenty-nine-year-old Sgt. Charles A. Dyer is an ex-Marine from Stephens County and is known best online as July4thPatriot.
Thousands view his videos and anti-government messages. Dyer is a member of the American Resistance Movement, but he's also an accused criminal who was arrested last week at his home in Marlow.
According to federal documents, Dyer is suspected of molesting a 7-year-old girl. When Stephens County deputies went to his home to collect evidence, they found a weapons cache including a grenade launcher stolen from a military base in California four years ago.
News of Dyer's arrest has spread like wildfire on the Internet. Supporters have flooded forums urging "patriots to unite." Others say "Oklahoma is blemished" and "the word is being spread." One member of Dyer's group wrote, "Keep your powder dry and pantry fully stocked."
Other militia members have posted personal videos online shaving their heads. They said it's a sign of support for a man they now call a prisoner of war.
Oklahoma based HateTrackers.com has documented Dyer's history. This week the Web site told NEWS 9 "his arrest has elevated his folk hero status."
HateTrackers.com said they are now the target of numerous threats including one posted on their YouTube site. It reads: "You better delete your account. You have 21 hours. Tick Tock. Tick Tock."
The group said it's not alone. Dyer's fellow militia members have reportedly threatened the Stephens County Sheriff. When asked about it, Sheriff Wayne McKinney would only say this:
"A lot of people in these militia groups, some of them have a good message, and you find radicals you find anything you get into, and obviously we're hearing from a few of those right now," McKinney said.
McKinney also confirmed that Dyer previously worked as a Stephens County jailer years ago. Prior to Dyer's arrest, the jail's staff said they had no idea about Dyer's ties to the groups.
The ATF said the grenade launcher found in Dyer's home is one of three stolen as they were being shipped to Iraq. Dyer told investigators his best friend gave it to him while he was still a Marine.