River Smith

River Smith

A Savage man arrested in December on weapons charges has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

River William Smith, 20, was charged with one count of unlawful possession of a machine gun and one count of attempting to receive or possess unregistered destructive devices, according to the indictment dated Jan. 12.

Smith was charged with similar counts in U.S. District Court last month after the FBI, acting on a tip from a citizen, arrested Smith Dec. 14 as he was attempting to buy grenades and gun parts from an FBI informant.

An investigation revealed that Smith “was preparing for a violent exchange with police,” according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office issued after the arrest. The release said Smith “stated he is ‘pro mass shooting,’ sympathized with the Parkland school shooter and expressed admiration for the individual charged with the recent shooting at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub.”

The FBI also discovered that Smith had access to fully automatic rifles, handguns, suppressors, body armor and a Kevlar helmet. Smith stated that he was preparing to fight the police and was dedicated to dying in that fight, authorities said at the time.

The FBI surveilled Smith in November and saw his grandmother drive him to a Prior Lake gun range and wait in the car while he shot, according to an affidavit filed with the initial criminal complaint. He was also seen wearing light-colored tactical pants, a black jacket with body armor underneath it and a “full-face ‘Punisher’ mask.”

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