A former Marine with ties to Tea Parties and militias who talked openly about using his training “to become a domestic terrorist” has been charged in separate complaints with raping a child and possessing an unregistered grenade launcher. His arrest may signal that a wing of the Tea Parties is heading in a more militant direction.
Charles Allan Dyer, 29, of Marlow, Oklahoma was arrested on January 12 at his home by Stephens County Sheriff’s deputies on the rape charge. The arrest occurred after a 7-year-old girl told sexual-abuse experts about a January 2nd incident at Dyer’s home.
While sheriff’s deputies were at Dyer’s home, they found several firearms and a Colt M-203, 40-millimeter grenade launcher, according to court documents. When they searched a national crime database, the deputies discovered that the grenade launcher was one of three stolen from a military base at Fort Irwin, California, in 2006. According to an affidavit, Dyer told law enforcement that he had received the grenade launcher “from his best friend who gave it to him while Dyer was stationed in California with the Marine Corps” (United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, Criminal Complaint, Case No. M-10-36-BA, January 14, 2010, pp. 2-3).
Dyer left the Marines last year after being brought up on charges of uttering “disloyal” statements, including his starring in several inflammatory YouTube videos which called for armed resistance against the U.S. government. In one video, Dyer exclaimed, “With DHS blatantly calling patriots, veterans, and constitutionalists a threat, all that I have to say is you’re damn right we’re a threat. We’re a threat to anyone that endangers our rights and the Constitution of this republic.” He invited viewers to join him at his makeshift training area—”I’m sure the DHS will call it a terrorist training camp.”
In an online interview, when asked about “honorable organizations to get a patriots feet wet with and take the fight to the man, and to the streets,” Dyer stated, “Oathkeepers, American Resistance Movement, Local tea parties, Appleseed, and I’m sure many other organizations near your area that you would have to search a little for. It depends a lot on how far you are willing to take the fight to preserve your freedom. If you are willing to give your life to preserve freedom for your children and grandchildren, I would suggest any of the above mentioned groups. If you are only willing to write on forums and protest on the streets, but will ultimately live under tyranny if it means not being killed, then I suggest joining the 9/12 project or something else a little safer.”
In this video, he is shown speaking at a Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Tea Party event promoting the Oath Keepers.
Dyer has played a bridge role between the Tea Parties and the Oath Keepers, an organization that seeks to enlist military and law enforcement personnel to disobey orders they regard as unconstitutional. The group promotes many of the outlandish theories about gun confiscation and the rounding up of people into concentration camps. Oath Keepers founder, Stewart Rhodes, previously praised Dyer in speeches, but is now backtracking claiming that Dyer isn’t a member because he never officially signed up and paid dues. Not everyone is looking to distance themselves from Dyer. Others in the movement almost immediately began calling Dyer the “1st P.O.W. of the 2nd American Revolutionary War.”
Prior to his arrest, Dryer was also busy organizing militia groups in Oklahoma. Dyer told an interviewer, “I came from California, where I was training with the SoCal militia and making liaison with active duty groups to train civilian. In February I will be traveling up North near Wyoming to assist in some cold weather training. At the moment, I am working with groups in Oklahoma to form a more cohesive militia here.”
And in another video, filmed during a militia training exercise, Dyer declared his intention to use his military training to become a domestic terrorist, “I’m going to use my training and become one of those domestic terrorists that you’re so afraid of from the DHS reports.” Dyer also stated, “Patriots we are not overpowered. If we united under one banner and fight for our children’s liberty and the Constitution, our resolve is invincible to any standing army.”
Dyer was charged last week by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Forearms with possessing an unregistered destructive device, and is currently in federal custody.
Devin Burghart is vice president of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights