A Wood County man is behind bars after allegedly making threats of terrorist acts on state government officials.
Thomas David Deegan, 39, of Mineral Wells, was arraigned in Wood County Magistrate Court Sept. 23 and is being held on a $300,000 cash only bond. He is being held in North Central Regional Jail.
On Tuesday, Sept. 22, officers were contacted in reference to conference calls made on Sept. 7, 14, 17 and 22 that were “involving/led by Thomas Deegan, a self-proclaimed Sovereign Citizen,” according to the criminal complaint.
The criminal complaint also said Deegan told fellow conspirators “any resistance to combat Law Enforcement or Military personnel should be met with Gunfire if necessary.” He also said “he does not want to have shots fired but will fire upon opposition forces if necessary.”
He was allegedly planning the “overthrow” of the Capitol in Charleston and told others to learn of the statehouse grounds and various law enforcement offices for the event, scheduled for Sept. 24.
Deegan was officially charged with making “threats of terrorist acts, conveying false information concerning terrorist acts and committing terrorist hoaxes.”
According to West Virginia State Code, “Any person who knowingly and willfully threatens to commit a terrorist act, with or without the intent to commit the act, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $5,000 nor more than $25,000 or confined in a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than three years, or both.”
Officials said they were aware of the threat and took precautions including beefing up Capitol security on the alleged day of the “take over.”
“State officials are aware of information circulated through social media, and are taking appropriate steps to ensure the safety of public officials and employees, National Guard and law enforcement personnel, and visitors to such public facilities as the state Capitol,” according to Larry Messina, communications director for the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.
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