BAY CITY, MI – Federal officials have dismissed complaint against an Omer man that they threatened to steal a US Coast Guard helicopter in an attempt to attack a hospital and “free” those receiving treatment against the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, September 30, US Attorney Matthew Schneider drafted a motion requesting that the federal charges against Jesse T. McFadden, 70, be dismissed.
“The government needs more time to determine whether federal prosecutions are in the interests of justice,” Schneider wrote. “The government’s ability to properly prosecute this case would be significantly compromised if it were to proceed with an indictment within the timeframe prescribed by the Speedy Trial Act. “
Schneider has requested that the case be dismissed without prejudice, meaning prosecutors can resubmit it in the future.
The American judge Patricia T. Morris granted Wednesday to the request for dismissal of Schneider.
McFadden had been charged with one count of felony possession of a firearm, a felony of 10 years. State-level, however, McFadden remains charged by Bay County District Court with three counts of assault, resisting or obstructing police and one count of transporting a gun. loaded in a motor vehicle. Both of these charges are two-year felonies.
According to an affidavit prepared by a special agent of the Coast Guard investigative unit, McFadden, at around 8 a.m. on May 17, called the Arenac County dispatch center and told a dispatcher that ‘he was heading to the US Coast Guard station Saginaw River at 2405 Weadock Highway in Essexville “to steal a helicopter to advance his plan to attack a police station and shoot at a local hospital.
“McFadden told the dispatcher he wanted to disrupt the hospital’s power supply, unlock the doors and release the COVID-19 quarantined patients,” the agent wrote.
McFadden also told the dispatcher he was armed with a machine gun, the officer wrote in his affidavit. Dispatchers briefed Coast Guard personnel and area police departments, while also providing McFadden’s criminal history of gun-branding and resistance to police, the affidavit reads.
At around 10:30 a.m., staff at the Coast Guard station in Essexville called the Bay County Central Dispatch to report that McFadden had arrived and was attempting to enter through the door using a keypad. Unable to get inside, he called the station’s communications center and requested access, the affidavit states.
When staff denied McFadden’s request, he threatened to open the door with his black Ford Explorer.
At around 10:39 p.m., McFadden walked away from the station. Police searched the area and eventually spotted McFadden’s truck at the Speedway gas station at 1504 Center Ave. in the Township of Hampton. The parked truck was unoccupied, although its engine was still running and its driver’s door was open.
Michigan State Police, Bay County Sheriff’s Deputies, and Hampton Township and Essexville public safety officers converged on the Speedway parking lot. Moments later, McFadden walked out of the store and was stopped by a soldier, who engaged in a conversation with him, Hampton Township Public Safety Lt. Michael Wedding previously told MLive.
While the two were talking, Wedding slipped into the passenger side of McFadden’s Ford, opened that door, and turned the ignition off. In the passenger seat under a black leather jacket was a .12 caliber Mossberg shotgun, the barrel pointed toward the floor and the butt upright, Wedding said.
Once McFadden saw that Wedding had the gun, he slapped the forearm of the soldier he was speaking with and pushed him away. An Essexville officer then pulled out his Taser and deployed it, although one of the spikes hit a button and made the shake ineffective.
McFadden then swung the officer around before several others dragged him to the ground and managed to handcuff him and arrest him.
Police found no other weapons on McFadden or in the vehicle. They found prescription drugs and marijuana, Wedding said.
The shotgun was loaded with five cartridges. McFadden told police he had the clay pigeon shooting weapon, Wedding said.
Since his arraignment, McFadden has been ordered by the court to undergo a psychological assessment to assess his competence for a trial. District Judge Mark E. Janer will preside over a hearing on McFadden’s assessment on October 5.
McFadden has remained in custody at the Bay County Jail since Wednesday.