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Man who threatened area mayors back in trouble

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By John Balch

News-Leader staff

The Howard County man who pleaded guilty and was sentenced in federal court for threatening to hang seven southwest Arkansas mayors in 2015 has been charged with a weapon violation in Howard County.

Maverick Bryan, 62, who has a Highway 27 Nashville address, was charged Nov. 15 with being a felon in possession of a firearm during an Oct. 23 traffic stop. During the stop, Nashville K9 Officer Greg Parker and partner, Appolo, established reasonable cause via an “open air sniff” around Bryan’s vehicle and an eventual search found no drugs but a .22 pistol was located in the center console. Due to Bryan’s criminal history, he was arrested for possession of a firearm by a certain person. Once at the county jail for booking, 16 magnum bullets for the pistol were found in his pockets.

On Nov. 16, Bryan waived formal arraignment and pleaded not guilty to the county charge. A March 1, 2023 pretrial date and a March 14 trial date were set.

In August 2017, Bryan was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to seven counts of mailing threatening communications for letters he mailed to mayors of Nashville, Murfreesboro, Ashdown, Lewisville, Prescott, Hope and De Queen. Bryan threatened to hang the mayors on their respective courthouse grounds if their local school districts did not bring prayer back to the classroom and remove the Common Core curriculum.

The letters to the mayors were signed as “Lt. Gary Owen,” which was a name used in a trade publication advertisement soliciting a $23 million loan and volunteers for a “Christian militia” to overthrow the government. The ad was placed a few months before the letters were mailed, according to case information.

An undercover federal source responded to the ad and Bryan was later recorded reportedly expressing his desire to kill all living United States Presidents.

Bryan also has previous convictions for interstate transport of a stolen vehicle, possession of firearms during indictment and two other convictions for being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was probation in Howard County at the time of his arrest and sentencing.

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