Accused Militia Head Held Without Bond

Wednesday, June 10th 2020, 5:55 pm

A McLoud area man, arrested in a federal weapons sting, will remain in custody until his trial. A federal judge on Wednesday denied releasing Chris Ledbetter on bond.

Police and federal agents swarmed Ledbetter’s property just outside McLoud, seizing one fully automatic AK-47; a couple of homemade hand grenades and what investigators said are Molotov cocktails; and his family said, trashing their place in the process.

“We have been absolutely terrorized by this,” Ledbetter’s mother, Joann Johnson said. “We were completely violated. Stuff was thrown everywhere. I mean I just don’t know what to tell you. It’s like some foreign terrorist coming in and attacking you.”

“They tore my daughters RV apart to the point where it’s not fixable. It has to be replaced. They went through her sister’s food and dumped it on the floor. Her feeding tube, she has to feed herself through a tube and they ripped her stuff. They trashed it. They threw her stuff up against the wall,” stepfather Glenn Johnson added.

In videos he posted on social media, Ledbetter admits to possessing the gun. Video shows Ledbetter and members of what investigators call his militia going into the McLoud Police Department. Ledbetter’s family said they have been feuding with a former McLoud police officer and wanted to file a complaint. 

They said the arrest is retribution for that. 

“They just, everything they did to me was an act of terror,” Glen Johnson said.

At his preliminary hearing Wednesday, a federal judge ordered there is enough evidence to go forward with the trial, and that Ledbetter should be held without bond because he has shown he won’t follow certain laws. His attorney argued, Ledbetter is a former marine with a good work history and no violent criminal record.

“My son is a peaceful man,” Joann Johnson said. “He’s a protector and that’s all I can say about him. This is a travesty to justice.”