FBI arrests New Mexico man accused of violent extremism

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The New Mexico Game and Fish Department says a Socorro man is suspected of trafficking drugs, owning illegal firearms and considered to be a threat to the community, according to the arrest affidavit.

Now, the FBI is investigating Wayne Ryan for allegedly possessing a machine gun and silencer without the proper permits.

Ryan’s former boss and a neighbor both said on Tuesday Ryan loves his guns and is known to have several in his car at all times, but they were surprised to hear he’s being looked into for the criminal offenses.

According to the arrest affidavit, in 2016 he threatened a New Mexico Game and Fish official with a firearm.

Read the arrest affidavit >>

An unnamed source in the affidavit said Ryan has multiple AR15s, claimed to have a machine gun and reportedly demonstrated in 2016 in the Leseburg’s Auto parking lot that he knew how to convert an AR15 into an automatic rifle that could shoot 100 rounds without failing.

Ryan also reportedly told an acquaintance he uses a two-passenger plane to “conduct illegal low-flight maneuvers” over people’s houses and would “harass the military by dropping flour bombs and conducting low-fly maneuvers” during training operations in the Cibola National Forest area, the affidavit said.

A Leseburg’s Auto employee said Ryan worked there as a mechanic for about five months before quitting late last week.

For the past few months, Ryan parked his RV in the back of another auto shop off Highway 60 in Socorro. The affidavit states the Socorro County Sheriff suspects the RV covered in black plastic on the property is a meth lab.

An acquaintance told the FBI that Ryan is a suspected drug dealer, based on the fact he has 20 acres of land, weapons and two personal aircrafts despite not having a job.

He’s also believed to use meth based on his “Pale complexion, blood-shot eyes and erratic behavior,” the affidavit states.

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