Four supporters of Ed and Elaine Brown have been arrested on various federal charges pertaining to help provided to the Browns since their convictions, and at least one of them is looking at a possible 125 years in prison.
Among those arrested include an LFV MySpace “friend”, Cirino “Reno” Gonzalez (pictured at left), as well as Jason Gerhard (arrested while at boot camp, and at whose home authorities found a pipe bomb), Daniel Riley (the man who was walking the Browns’ dog and was confronted by the feds a few months back), and Bob Wolffe (the supporter who left the scene of an accident while driving the Browns’ vehicle).
According to the Concord Monitor, a local Plainfield, NH newspaper, Reno is the most well-known of the four men among Brown supporters:
Gonzalez, a former military contractor, was the public face of the Browns’ home for several months this summer when he lived at the house and posted frequent updates on their status online. Gonzalez appeared in online photos and videos, many of which showed him armed. He also posted long, rambling accounts of goings-on at the house and his evolving political views.
He was charged with conspiracy, accessory after the fact, and one count of carrying and possessing a firearm in connection with a crime of violence.
The indictment alleges that he purchased the .50-caliber rifle in April. In a blog post a few days later, Gonzalez bragged about owning the gun.
“I get sad knowing not everyone has one,” he wrote on his MySpace page. “Then I think about everyone . . . that is not even close to being ready.”
Gonzalez’s hearing was brief. He pleaded not guilty and will remain in federal custody. A judge in Texas already ruled that Gonzalez should remain held until trial. According to Magistrate B. Janice Ellington’s ruling, Gonzalez is “both a flight risk and a danger to the community.”
“The defendant resisted attempts by the Marshal to arrest him at a residence where numerous firearms, including assault weapons, were present,” the ruling said. “During the arrest, defendant attempted to gain access to those weapons.”
Gonzalez’s father, Jose Gonzalez, said in an interview that it was not surprising that his son appeared to resist arrest, because he was sleeping and startled when marshals arrived about noon last Wednesday.
According to the Alice Echo-News Journal and a blog post made by Gonzalez’s friend Donna Van Meter, Gonzalez’s custody hearing in Texas included rumors of a possible escape plot and an outburst by Jose Gonzalez, who was escorted from the courtroom.
Reno’s trial is scheduled for November.
I had an online conversation with Reno not long ago, and he had agreed to an interview exclusive to LFV. Unfortunately, due to other more pressing personal concerns, as well as waiting to see how his planned trip to Iraq with Cindy Sheehan would proceed, I never got around to doing that interview before he was arrested. However, he seemed to have moved away from supporting the Browns, and toward engaging in anti-war activities, which of course was my point of interest.
Most interesting in the affidavits released by the feds in these cases is that Danny Riley, hailed as a hero by Brown supporters for refusing to tell the feds anything about activities at the Browns’ home, seems to have been doing the exact opposite of what he led others to believe. In fact, it appears he told the feds quite a few things about what was going on at the Brown house, including the location of weapons, and may have been the federal informant referenced after these arrests (Riley was arrested as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not an informant). Brown supporters, not surprisingly, are more than a little upset about this allegation, but still unsure whether to believe the feds at all. Here is an excerpt of a blog written by Reno’s friend Donna Van Meter, with regard to the allegations about Danny Riley:
i ask myself how can they do this, it is all false charge, and why did Danny tell the Marshals where the supplies on the Browns property is located? what also gets me is that in court the marshal said that there was an informant on the property that was working for them.
HOW DARE YOU STAB PEOPLE IN THE BACK whomever you are……
danny i really hope it wasnt you but they are pointing fingers at you. i really hope it wasnt you. but if the Marshal says it i know it isnt automatically true, the whole testamony was false where it concerned Reno, lets hope they are wrong about you too, cause in the beginning i got that feeling you were a traitor to ed and elaine, but i thought damn maybe i was being too judgemental, dont like second guessing my gut feelings, and i have had too, in pertaining to your honesty danny.
i feel numb and sick.
The affidavits and indictments supporting the arrests can be seen as follows: