MCLOUD, Okla. (KFOR) – A McLoud man made a federal court appearance Wednesday morning after a recent property search led to the discovery of an illegal weapon along with explosives, officials say.
Family members and fellow members of the “Sons of Liberty” anti- militia group claim he’s being targeted for more than just the weapon.
“We’re here to not bring violence onto others but instead protect people’s peaceful freedoms from violence on police officers,” said Brayden, a member of Sons of Liberty who showed up to support Chris Ledbetter.
Last Thursday, law enforcement agencies raided Ledbetter’s property near McLoud.
Federal agents say they found weapons and explosives.
The FBI later charged Ledbetter with unlawfully possessing a fully automatic machine gun but family members believe there’s more to the story.
“This is about a McLoud police officer doing stuff he should not be doing, multiple officers are doing things they should not be doing and they’re mad that Chris has figured it out and he’s trying to expose them,” said Lily Harris.
Ledbetter has had an ongoing conflict with McLoud police.
His family says it stems from alleged inappropriate actions he claims to have uncovered within the department.
“Harassment, brutality, pedophilia, messing with little girls in the school. The fact that the officer has been let go or retired to avoid charges tells you everything you need to know,” Harris said.
McLoud’s police chief says after the investigation, there is simply no truth to those claims.
Ledbetter often documented the conflict on social media.
In court, several videos were shown including one of him “training” with weapons.
Another showed a confrontation with the McLoud police chief when Ledbetter wanted to bring his weapon into the police department.
Ledbetter’s attorney argued that although he made threats, no actions were taken to justify a federal crime other than the weapon Ledbetter allegedly did not have the license for.
An FBI agent testified that Ledbetter refuses to peacefully comply with the law.
Family members are staying strong in their defense.
“Chris isn’t this big bad, terrible person that you’re making him out to be,” said Harris. “He’s never done anything before in his life. He served in the military. That’s all he’s ever done.”
If convicted, Ledbetter faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.