Franklin man accused of having unregistered explosives for militia group ‘United Sheepdogs of Ohio’

Two members of an Ohio militia group, including a man from Franklin, have been indicted on federal charges of having unregistered explosives.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio on Monday unsealed an indictment by a federal grand jury that accuses Ryan D. King, 37, of Franklin, and Randy D. Goodman, 53, of Ripley, Ohio, of violating the National Firearms Act. Both men were charged with two counts of possessing unregistered explosive devices.

King and Goodman, both members of the United Sheepdogs of Ohio militia group, were arrested Monday, officials said. According to the federal indictment, there are at least 12 members of this militia group living throughout the Southern District of Ohio.

On Monday morning, Franklin police blocked off a portion of a street as FBI agents searched King’s home in the 700-block of South Main Street, according to Franklin police Chief Russ Whitman.

Both defendants had initial appearances at 2:30 p.m. today in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati when the indictment was unsealed, according to Jennifer Thornton, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. She said both men are scheduled for a detention hearing at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday for detention hearings.

According to the indictment, King and Goodman established a small subset of the militia group and referred to it as the “Special Projects Team.” The defendants advocated that this Team construct, use and stockpile explosives they called “crater makers.”

The defendants allegedly conspired to possess and possessed destructive devices in violation of the National Firearms Act, specifically, bombs and parts necessary to make pipe bombs, the indictment said.

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In January 2019, King and Goodman allegedly tested their “crater makers” at Goodman’s home in Ripley. They discussed construction and ignition methods in detail. Goodman referenced the Boston Marathon as an example of a remote detonation system that worked.

They discussed which methods would be most lethal.

For example, Goodman asked, “Do we know how they built the pressure cookers for the Boston bombers…we are talking the same concept…,” the indictment said.

King added, “If you really want explosions you would bury these in the driveway, so they go up and out. We can build land mines, I’ve already built them before, you know that.”

Possessing an unregistered firearm or destructive device is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Conspiring to do so is a crime that carries a potential maximum sentence of five years in prison.

An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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