In a live phone call from Oregon’s Lane County jail in Eugene, Michael Emry, 54, tells listeners of Scott Bennett’s Project Camelot YouTube channel,
I look like the bad guy. I need help. I don’t know what to do.
Prosecutors say Emry is facing one of the most “serious and dangerous” weapon charges someone could face for possessing an unregistered .50-caliber machine gun known as a “Ma Deuce”, which according to Emry’s arrest warrant, he admitted to stealing from a former employer and then “obliterating” the deadly weapon’s serial number.
In the interview, Emry says feds wanted him to turn over information on the Bundy brothers and on [weapons] dealers like his former boss, Jim Weaver, from whom he stole the Ma Deuce . He admits Weaver did not know that he had stolen the gun and taken it to Oregon.
In December 2015, Emry traveled to Harney County, Oregon in a convoy with the Idaho Three Percent militia driving a van loaned to him by Ammon Bundy, the leader of the January armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Emry initially stayed in a house in Burns with Bundy and Bundy’s tactical leader of the standoff, Ryan Payne, as well as others.
Scott Willingham, another participant in the refuge occupation, told authorities that Emry was not only in Burns as a journalist as Emry claims but was also there for his weapons expertise as part of the occupation.
In Eugene’s U.S. District Court, prosecutors argued against Emry’s pretrial release last Friday. In their motion, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan Lichvarchik wrote,
A man with a history of making a bomb and silencer for a drug dealer to kill witnesses and manufacturing 66 machine guns for another person in preparation for a civil revolt – who then brings a .50 caliber machine gun to our state during a time of unrest and then negotiates to sell it to someone purporting to be a felon and the captain of a militia – poses a serious danger to the community.”
This was in reference to a 2004 Tennesse drug case in which Emry turned evidence and testified on behalf of the federal government. He was never charged in that case and supporters, along with Emry’s wife, claim his 2004 testimony was supposed to be sealed and should be considered unrelated to the current case and charges.
But Lichvarchik argued,
There are several facts of this case that ratchet the seriousness and dangerousness of this offense to higher levels.
Emry, a known bomb maker, could still face a charge pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d) for illegally possessing a destructive device – specifically, a blasting cap which is a detonator for a bomb, that was discovered at the time of his May 6 arrest at a John Day trailer park.
Emry’s latest motion for release was unsuccessful and he has since dismissed Mark Sabitt, his court-appointed attorney.
In the Project Camelot interview, Emry said,
They’re trying to paint me as some mad bomber, or mad machine gun maker, or somebody that wants to do this and that. When in fact, I’ve been an asset to help law enforcement in the right way for years.”
Emry continued, saying that prior to his May 6 arrest in Harney County, he was aware that he was being followed and said it scared the “bejeebus” out of him and made him “scared to death”.
Of the stolen machine gun, he said all he wanted to do was “take it back”.
Commenting on his 2004 testimony in the Tennessee case, Emry claimed,
They coerced me to do what I had to do to make their case.
He alleges that in 2004, he did have a government assigned CI (confidential informant) number, but added that he isn’t the type to turn on just anyone, saying he was “responsible”.
Of the Oregon occupation Emry said,
Shit. I’m not turning anybody in. No matter what they want. That’s just the way it is.”
Emry’s responses were mostly unintelligible due to the technical difficulties they were experiencing on the Google Hangout call. Bennett, the show’s host, did not take advantage of the time Emry had on the line to let him speak and instead  spent much of the time trying to coach Emry him on what he should do next.
(Start at 01:27:25)
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