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Man arrested after alleged threats to bomb IRS building

Published: Monday, Aug. 31 2015 8:19 p.m. MDT

Officers from the Joint Terrorism Task Force began investigating Keith Max Pierce after he allegedly discussed bombing the Internal Revenue Service building in Provo, the Provo Police Department and a court building with a confidential FBI source. (STUART JOHNSON,) Officers from the Joint Terrorism Task Force began investigating Keith Max Pierce after he allegedly discussed bombing the Internal Revenue Service building in Provo, the Provo Police Department and a court building with a confidential FBI source. (STUART JOHNSON,)

SALT LAKE CITY — A Provo man is facing federal charges stemming from allegations that he threatened to bomb three buildings in Provo and illegally possessed a machine gun.

Officers from the Joint Terrorism Task Force began investigating Keith Max Pierce after he allegedly discussed bombing the Internal Revenue Service building in Provo, the Provo Police Department and a court building with a confidential FBI source.

Pierce, 34, is facing charges of illegal possession of machine guns, failure to register as a dealer and manufacturer, and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

"Pierce also discussed having access to fully automatic weapons, and having the tools/knowledge to make fully automatic weapons," an affidavit filed with the complaint states.

The FBI introduced an undercover employee to Pierce through an online gun advertisement and they eventually made an agreement for Pierce to make the officer a fully automatic AR-15, which Pierce is alleged to have delivered in May. The firearm "had an obliterated serial number," the affidavit states.

The exchange was apparently made at the clubhouse of the Branbury Apartment complex, 1724 N. 450 West, in Provo. After being entered into evidence, the weapon was sent to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms testing facility in West Virginia where it was found to be "modified to fire in full auto configuration," according to the affidavit.

It was concluded that the weapon could be defined as a machine gun that had not been registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, making its possession a violation of law.

Pierce appeared in federal court Thursday and will again appear Monday, when it is anticipated that federal prosecutors will argue that the man be held in custody.

Email: emorgan@deseretnews.com Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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