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Indianapolis man accused of planning domestic terrorism

Rifle, bleach & ammonia found in vehicle
Posted at 4:42 PM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-29 17:41:35-04

GREENWOOD, Ind. -- An Indianapolis man faces charges of planning an act of domestic terrorism after police found a rifle with a scope and homemade suppressor and bottles filled with bleach and ammonia in his car.

A Greenwood police officer pulled over Christopher C. Byrne, 31, on August 15 after allegedly spotting him driving suspiciously through the Greenwood Park Mall, where a number of car break-ins had recently occurred.

When the officer asked for Byrne's ID, Byrne reportedly refused to present it and claimed to be a "sovereign national."

Byrne was identified as a habitual traffic violator and placed under arrest.

A search of his car turned up a Ruger 10-22 rifle with 100 rounds of ammunition, along with a scope and homemade suppressor. Police also found water bottles filled with bleach and ammonia, which, if combined, will produce toxic chloramine gas.

Byrne was convicted of theft in Marion County in 2015 after federal authorities raided his apartment and found numerous items of stolen police equipment, including an AR-15 rifle that had been stolen out of a Greenwood police car. That car was subsequently set on fire outside the officer's home.

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Byrne was also facing a jury trial August 23 stemming from previous charges in Johnson County. He subsequently pleaded guilty to carrying a handgun without a license and being a habitual traffic violator. He faces up to six years in prison on those charges.

Federal prosecutors are looking at possible additional firearms and toxic chemicals charges in connection with his latest arrest.