Traverse City Record-Eagle

Michigan

November 30, 2012

Man gets four years in explosives case

MARQUETTE — An Upper Peninsula man convicted of illegally transporting and storing explosive materials has been sentenced to more than four years in prison.

John Lechner is a farmer and builder from Sault Ste. Marie and was convicted in June.

He wasn't charged with plotting to blow up the mixture. But in a recorded conversation, he told an informant that he'd become a mercenary "when the people decide to take the government back."

Lechner was sentenced to four years, three months in prison during an appearance Thursday in Marquette federal court.

Co-defendant Ken Kassab of Brimley was acquitted of illegally transporting fuel oil and ammonium nitrate and another charge. He'd struck a plea deal with the government but changed his mind and decided to go to trial.

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