A “doomsday prepper” in a rural area of Maryland became a target for police and the FBI after he told an undercover cop that he was “very irritated” about Barack Obama’s re-election, sparking an investigation that eventually led to 46-year-old Terry Porter being thrown in prison and having his home raided by 150 armed officers.
The series of events began when an anonymous person contacted state police in early November claiming Porter was “getting crazier and crazier” and had been stockpiling “machine gun-style firearms” at his home in Sharpsburg. The police followed up by sending an undercover officer to Porter’s home pretending to be a potential customer for his welding business.
According to a charging document filed in Washington County District Court, Porter “openly admitted to being a prepper” (as if this was an illegal act in and of itself) and said that he was “very irritated” about the recent presidential election. Porter had also invested in an underground bomb shelter and had installed surveillance cameras on his property.
Once the investigation into Porter began, police discovered that he had a 1992 felony drug conviction and was therefore barred from owning firearms. On Thursday last week, no less than 150 armed and militarized police and FBI agents in the guise of tactical assault teams descended on Porter’s house as if they were confronting a terrorist cell. The raid also included helicopters, SWAT crews, armored vehicles and even excavation equipment.
Porter was absent at the time of the raid but turned himself in the next morning at Hagerstown Barrack.
After the raid, the claim that Porter was stockpiling “10-15 machine gun-style firearms” was demolished when police uncovered “four shotguns, a .30-30-caliber rifle and two .22-caliber rifles,” hardly a deadly mass arsenal.
It is important to stress that Porter’s possession of guns merely provided a justification for the police raid and came to light only after authorities began to investigate him over his anti-Obama statements.
As the Intel Hub highlights, “The fact that 20 years before he had a drug conviction enabled the FBI to carry out a raid they would have never even considered if it wasn’t for the fact that they knew that the man was preparing and was distrustful of the government. To say the raid was simply for illegal possession of firearms is to ignore all the facts of this horrific story.”
Porter’s neighbors expressed their fury at the needless expense of the raid, noting that Porter was a trustworthy man who did not pose any kind of violent threat.
“It was ridiculous for (the man), who would not hurt another person for anything. Unless you would attack him, he’s not going to go after anyone,” said 35-year-old Heather Hamilton who lived around the corner from Porter, adding that the whole episode was “a big waste of taxpayer money.”
Friend and neighbor Doug Bigelow said he “would feel safe leaving his kids with the man,” and that he was “Surprised at what was going on” because Porter lived his life “on the “straight and narrow.”
“Taxpayers should be outraged at this over-zealous reaction to what we now learn is a man who simply feared for a crisis coming to America (don’t we all!) and had become a “doomsday prepper ” —-in addition to having a neighbor with a grudge who likely turned him in,” writes Ann Corcoran.
“It is true that Porter had a 20-year-old drug conviction on his record but apparently had no subsequent run-ins with the law. He is legally not allowed to own a gun so he does have a legal problem, but that doesn’t justify the cost and scope of this massive operation.”
We have previously documented the fact that so-called “preppers,” who given the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy should be being lauded by the authorities as a good example to other Americans, are now being treated as terrorists.
Flyers aimed at Military Surplus stores produced under the auspices of the FBI’s Communities Against Terrorism project earlier this year characterized bulk buying of food – a staple of prepper behavior – as a potential terrorist activity.
Earlier this year we also reported on the case of David Sarti, who was featured in National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers show. Sarti visited his doctor complaining of chest pains, only to have the doctor later commit him to a psychiatric ward and alert authorities, before Sarti was declared “mentally defective” and put on an FBI list that stripped him of his second amendment rights.