Greenwood man accused of domestic terrorism faces federal firearms charges
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A Greenwood man accused of domestic terrorism faces federal firearms charges after his arrest last year near the Greenwood Park Mall.
According to U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler, Christopher Byrne was charged in a two-count indictment with unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.
On Aug. 15, 2016, Greenwood police stopped Byrne for a traffic violation near the Greenwood Park Mall. Officers noticed he didn’t have a valid license plate or registration. Instead, the vehicle had a fictitious plate that stated “PRIVATE,” “No driver license or insurance required,” and “Not for commerce-private mode of travel.”
Byrne wouldn’t provide identification when police asked him for it, saying he didn’t commit a crime and didn’t have to ID himself, according to the indictment. Byrne also said he was a “sovereign national.”
Police removed Byrne from the car and handcuffed him. They identified him through the Indiana ID card in his wallet. A records check showed Byrne was a habitual traffic violator who didn’t have a valid license. Police found a loaded .22 caliber rifle with a scope and an extended clip on the rear seat.
In addition, investigators found a hand-made suppressor and bottles of bleach and ammonia. Investigators said he searched for the addresses of a judge, police officer and deputy prosecutor handling a previous case.
Byrne is legally prohibited from carrying a firearm because he’s a convicted felon. He was convicted of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated in Hendricks County in 2012, and again in Marion County in 2013. In addition, he has a conviction for theft in Marion County from 2015.
Byrne faces up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted in the federal case.
Byrne also faced charges in Johnson County for being a habitual traffic offender. He was sentenced to five years (3.5 years in jail, 1.5 years on probation) and was ordered to undergo mental health evaluation and treatment.