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Joshua Blessed – Army Vet Sentenced to 25 Years for Teaching Extremists Bomb-Making to Kill Law Enforcement

A federal judge on Friday sentenced a former US Army sergeant to 25 years in prison for teaching someone how to make bombs to kill federal law enforcement officers. Jurors deliberated for less than an hour last year before returning guilty verdicts for Christopher Arthur, 40, on the bomb-making charges as well as illegally possessing weapons on his farm in Mount Olive, North Carolina, where he produced videos and manuals on creating things like “fatal funnels” to kill law enforcement responding to extremists, the Rocky Mount Telegram reported.

Arthur came into the FBI’s radar in 2020 when Joshua Blessed attacked deputies and police officers in upstate New York and then led officers on a two-hour chase followed by a gun battle that killed him. Some of Arthur’s manuals were found in Blessed’s possessions, including one called “Quick Reaction Force – Modern Day Minutemen-Improvised Explosives.”

Investigators also found emails between the two about types of mines along with evidence that Blessed had attended one of Arthur’s training sessions in North Carolina at his “Tackleberry Solutions” camp, where he filmed his videos and created instructional manuals for what he called the “pending civil war.”

Arthur was arrested in January 2022 after a confidential source known as “Buckshot” contacted him with a story about agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives raiding his home and confiscating his weapons. Buckshot told Arthur he wanted to be ready when they returned.

Arthur provided bomb making instructions to Buckshot and taught him a tactic he called “the spiderweb,” which he described as “stupid lethal,” the Army Times reported. The technique included surrounding a home with homemade bombs and remote-activated explosives. He also taught his student how to evade arrest after he killed law enforcement officers and gave him bomb-making components.

A terrorism enhancement increased Arthur’s possible sentence from 18 years, and US District Court Judge James C. Dever said he took Arthur’s 12 years of military service, with two deployments to Iraq, into consideration in deciding on 25 years.

“It’s really sad, honestly,” the judge said, according to the Telegram. “But it is serious, too. Just as every person who’s ever had a loved one in combat knows, they pray every night that they’ll come home. Families of law enforcement say the same prayer every day when their spouse, or mom or dad, go to work.”

Arthur’s attorneys tried to excuse his behavior by citing his military service, with one even saying he had “issues that should be addressed” and that he was open to therapy. But Arthur himself, who spoke before the sentencing, showed no signs of the contrition his attorneys said he had. Instead, he warned that America was about to erupt into violence.

“Buy food storage and prepare to defend yourselves and your family,” he said.