CONCORD, N.H. – Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced that late Tuesday afternoon, a federal jury found Edward McLarnon, 69, of Malden, Massachusetts, guilty of receiving firearms with intent to commit murder, as well as three related weapons and explosive charges, after a six-day trial.
Evidence presented at trial showed that in October of 2015, McLarnon made contact with a person he believed to be an arms dealer (who was actually an undercover FBI agent) for the purpose of buying illegal weapons. McLarnon negotiated with the undercover agent at a store in Chichester, New Hampshire and paid a total of $700 in cash to obtain the weapons. On November 6, 2015, the defendant took possession of a .22 caliber pistol with a silencer, an AK-47-style semi-automatic rifle, ammunition, and two hand grenades containing high explosives at a rest stop in Seabrook. He was taken into custody shortly after taking possession of these items. The evidence further showed that McLarnon intended to use the weapons to kill his ex-wife’s husband, as well as a Boston federal judge, and a former Massachusetts Attorney General.
The jury found the defendant guilty of: (1) receiving an unregistered silencer; (2) receiving firearms with the intent to commit murder; (3) receiving explosive materials; and (4) receiving an explosive with the intent to harm persons or property. He faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison for each count of conviction. He will be sentenced on May 10, 2018.
“I am grateful to the jury for rendering this swift and just verdict,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “The evidence at trial demonstrated that the defendant devised a frightening plan to use weapons to kill several individuals to express his frustration with the legal system. Thanks to the hard work of the brave law enforcement officers who participated in this investigation, the defendant’s violent plan was stopped before anyone was hurt.”
“Edward McLarnon purchased an AK-47, grenades, a silencer, and ammunition with the sole intent of killing the former Massachusetts Attorney General, a sitting federal judge, and other government officials. Today’s conviction ensures that Mr. McLarnon will not be able to further endanger innocent lives,” said Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Boston Division. “This case is a testament to the tireless efforts of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, where the close coordination between federal, state, and local law enforcement led to the successful disruption of McLarnon’s plot. Each and every day, the Joint Terrorism Task Force strives for a perfect record, and we’d like to thank all of our partners for their dedication and hard work in bringing this case to a safe and successful conclusion.”
This matter was investigated by the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John S. Davis and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Hunter.