SALT LAKE CITY — A Kearns man who allegedly planned to assassinate the governor now faces federal criminal charges.
A felony complaint in U.S. District Court charges Brian Biff Baker, 52, with transmitting threats in interstate commerce and being a felon in possession of ammunition. Baker is scheduled to appear in court next week.
The charges stem from a Feb. 2 incident outside the Governor's Mansion where Baker allegedly sent numerous texts to a friend saying he was hiding in the bushes and intended to kill Gov. Gary Herbert.
One message read: "Been casing the place they going to (expletive removed) when the explosions start lol should be funny ... its a dangerous mission. This cop drives by one more time im takeing him out," according to court records.
Herbert was in the mansion at the time and was taken to a safe place for his protection.
A Utah Department of Public Safety investigator viewed surveillance video of the area around the mansion and saw Baker surveying the property. The investigator then arranged for the friend to meet Baker at a gas station where he was taken into custody, the charges state.
Baker's truck was found near the mansion and police found containers of ammunition, a large knife, M088 Salute explosives, several cardboard boxes of illegal firecrackers, a pipe and two bags containing methamphetamine inside, court documents say.
Baker already faces charges in 3rd District Court related to the incident. They are possession or use of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony; purchase, transfer, possession or use of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a third-degree felony; and threatening elected officials, a class B misdemeanor.
According to the state charges, Baker had previously been convicted of a violent crime and was classified as a "restricted person."