The U.S. Attorney’s office for Utah is charging a Provo man with violating federal firearms laws.
Federal officers arrested 34-year-old Keith Max Pierce for failure to register as a gun dealer and manufacturer, illegal possession of machine guns, and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. The investigation into Pierce began last November after he told an FBI source that he had access to fully automatic weapons and was interested in bombing several government buildings in Provo. During the investigation an undercover member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force was able to purchase a fully automatic weapon from Pierce. Assistant Special Agent in Charge Loren Cannon says while he can’t comment on whether or not there will be other investigations in connection to these charges, he can say they’ve eliminated any potential threat to the community.
“We feel in this case we’ve done a good job of evaluating those threats at every step of the way and at this point we feel like the potential threat to the community has been mitigated with the arrest that has been made,” he says.
Pierce will appear in court for a detention hearing on Monday morning. The potential maximum penalty for each count in the complaint is 10 years in prison and a fine of $250 thousand dollars.