Michigan man pleads guilty in explosives case

John Lechner could be sentenced to 10 years in prison

Published On: Feb 22 2012 12:54:58 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 22 2012 01:06:29 PM EST

A man from Michigan's Upper Peninsula accused of buying and hiding more than 4,000 pounds of explosives has reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

John Francis Lechner of Sault Ste. Marie pleaded guilty Tuesday to possessing explosives while under indictment. Four other counts were dismissed.
Lechner could get up to 10 years in prison when sentenced May 25.

A federal agent said in an affidavit last year that an informant had tipped off the Chippewa County Sheriff's Department about helping Lechner move a variety of explosives.

The agent said he obtained a search warrant and found 83 bags of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, plus a supply of explosive boosters, detonating cord and blasting caps.

Lechner's attorney said he obtained the materials years ago for construction projects.