You are forgiven for thinking that a major terrorist attack was thwarted in Sharpsburg, Maryland, this past Thursday. A Maryland State Police helicopter was in the air over 4433 Mills Road most of the day, as police, FBI SWAT teams, armored vehicles, and K-9 units converged upon the residence of Terry Allen Porter, 46.
Porter, however, wasn’t home.
Nor, it turned out, was Porter on any “Most Wanted” lists.
Terry Allen Porter’s home was raided using all the power of the state security apparatus not because he was terrorist, a bank robber, serial killer, or a relative of the Kennedy clan, but because of an anonymous tip that he was an avid outdoorsman:
Officers investigating a weapons complaint have removed guns from a home in Sharpsburg, ending a tense situation that stretched for hours Thursday afternoon.
Maryland State Police troopers were trying to serve a warrant against Terry Porter, a welder and avid hunter, after getting a tip that he had illegal weapons in his house on Mills Road, according to sources familiar with Porter and the investigation.
Even the “illegal weapons” reference in the story was misleading. Porter had run-of-the-mill shotguns, an old lever-action .30/30, and .22 LR rifles anyone might easily buy at Walmart or their neighborhood sporting goods store.
No, Terry Allen Porter required the attention of Maryland State Police, Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies, a helicopter, K-9 units, a heavily armed FBI SWAT team, and two armored vehicles because he had guns and a twenty-year-old conviction for dealing cocaine that landing him in jail for six months in 1992.
An anonymous informant and a common sentiment of disgust with the results of the 2012 election were apparently enough to bring down the government’s militant wrath:
A person wishing to remain anonymous contacted state police in early November, telling them that Porter “has been getting crazier and crazier over the past several years,” the charging document said. The person told police that Porter had 10 to 15 “machine gun-style firearms,” six handguns and up to 10,000 rounds of ammunition, the document said.
The person told police that Porter was a doomsday prepper who had a bunker under his driveway, as well as surveillance cameras around his property, the charging document said.
Two searches of Porter’s property — one Thursday by warrant and a consent search Friday — turned up four shotguns, a .30-30-caliber rifle and two .22-caliber rifles, the charging document said.
A state police corporal went to Porter’s home Nov. 16, posing as a customer for the business Porter runs from his home, the charging document said. Porter got “very irritated” during a discussion of the recent presidential election and “openly admitted to being a prepper,” the document said.
Porter has now been charged for the few otherwise legal weapons found in his home.