According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in mid-2015, Musso began attempting to obtain ammunition and military weapons and explosives, including hand grenades, in an effort to prepare for potential revolutionary activities.
“After Musso told a firearms dealer about his desire to obtain these items, the FBI arranged for Musso to be introduced to an undercover agent who told Musso that he could obtain illegal hand grenades,” Scott Murray, the U.S. Attorney, said. “During two meetings with the undercover agent in January 2016, Musso reiterated his desire to obtain hand grenades and other illegal military weapons and explosives. Musso explained that he was part of a group that was seeking to bring forth the ‘original constitution’ and that he and his associates were seeking to obtain military weapons and explosives to ‘take our country back.'”
Musso purchased four grenades from the undercover agent in Seabrook in January 2016.
Possession of hand grenades is illegal unless they are registered under the National Firearms Act.
Previously, Musso argued the grenades were not destructive devices because the FBI made their fuses inoperable for safety purposes during the undercover sale operation. A district judge agreed with him but an appeals court reversed the decision.
“I am grateful to the members of the jury who agreed to perform their important civic duty during this challenging time,” Murray said. “The jury’s dedication to justice ensured that this defendant received a fair trial despite the difficulties presented by the current pandemic. The defendant’s frightening efforts to obtain military hand grenades posed a substantial risk to public safety. Thanks to the excellent investigative work of the FBI, this dangerous scheme was thwarted and the public was protected from potential violence.”
After the jury verdict, Musson was taken into custody. The trial was the first in U.S. District since the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
“Daniel Musso bought four grenades and asked our undercover agent to illegally sell him additional military grade weapons and explosives as part of a frightening plan to defend his version of what our government should be,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “If it were not for the concerned citizen who caught wind of his plan and came forward to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, these deadly weapons could have ended up in the wrong hands. This case is a true testament that the adage, ‘if you see something, say something,’ really does work.”
Kelly D. Brady, an ATF Special Agent in Charge, said the arrest demonstrated “the outstanding partnership between the Seabrook Police Department, FBI and the ATF. It demonstrates the commitment we share together to interdict these dangerous hand grenades which are an instrument of extreme violence and the criminals that compromise the safety of our communities.”
Musso is no stranger to police. He made national headlines in June 2013 after attempting to disrupt a Mayors Against Illegal Guns in Concord. The anti-gun group was reading off the names of victims of gun violence when Musso approached the org’s podium and began challenging the readers. He was asked to leave but did not budge while pro-2nd Amendment supporters and anti-gun activists offered dueling chants.
Eventually, Musso left the podium and when Concord police arrived, private security led them to Musso. Police questioned him while other gun rights advocates began getting involved and a scuffle broke out.
Officers attempted to take him into custody but Musso refused to cede and after a number of warnings, he was Tased and arrested. Musso was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and two counts of simple assault and was held on $5,000 cash bail.
Later during the rally, a firestorm occurred after it was revealed that the anti-gun group read the name of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the two Boston Marathon bombing terrorists, as a gun violence victim. At the rally, when Tsarnaev’s name was read, at least one pro-gun counter-protester was heard yelling, “He’s a terrorist!” The org confirmed to Patch later that Tsarnaev’s name was read based on a list compiled by Slate.com that was tracking gun deaths since the Sandy Hook shootings. Tsarnaev was shot and killed by police in Watertown during a manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers after the bombing.
Video footage of the arrest, published first on Patch, was featured on AOL, Huffington Post, Fox News, the Daily Mail, and other news outlets and websites.
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