A jury convicted 41-year-old Darren Wesley Huff Tuesday on federal firearms charges for carrying guns across state lines. Authorities say Huff was arrested in the middle of an attempt to take over a Tennessee courthouse and force President Barack Obama out of office.
The Georgia man was found guilty of carrying a firearm in interstate commerce with the intent to use it in a civil disorder, but acquitted of using his .45-caliber handgun and Ak-47 assault rifle to takeover a Monroe County courthouse in April 2010, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. AP writes that Huff faces up to five years in prison:
"The verdict on count one reflects exactly what the law is supposed to do, which is prevent harm before shots get fired, people hurt, or property damaged," Assistant U.S. Attorney Will Mackie told reporters after the verdict.
Scott Green, Huff's attorney, did not comment after the verdict. When he spoke with The Associated Press on Monday before the verdict, Green quoted former New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay: "Those who suppress freedom always do so in the name of law and order."
The Knoxville News Sentinel writes that Green argued Huff, who has no criminal record, has obeyed the law in the year since he first was arrested and then freed pending trial.
AP writes that Huff tearfully told the jury Friday that he was humiliated because "my government has called me a potential domestic terrorist."
Huff was stopped by Tennessee officers in April 2010 and told them he was bringing guns into the state from Dallas, Georgia. Huff was a part of a Georgia militia and the 'birther' movement according to AP.Officers who arrested Huff said he had a document he claimed was a "citizens' arrest warrant" for officials, saying they were domestic enemies and had been charged with treason.
Huff denies ever threatening to take over the courthouse in Monroe County. Huff claimed he was going to Madisonville to protest the arrest of "birther" Walter Fitzpatrick.
"I have never made a statement about taking over the courthouse, the city, the state, nothing," Huff said.
A sentencing hearing was scheduled in February.