Federal trial set for Michigan man in explosives case

John Lechner accused of concealing ammonium nitrate, fuel oil

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MARQUETTE, Mich. - A northern Michigan man goes on trial this month in Marquette federal court on accusations he bought and concealed 4,000 pounds of explosives, packing the power of the blast used in the Oklahoma City federal building attack.

John Lechner of Sault Ste. Marie has a pretrial conference Tuesday. The trial starts June 18.

Lechner quit an earlier deal with prosecutors calling for the dropping of four counts in exchange for his plea to an explosives possession charge.

Authorities arrested him last September after an informant told Chippewa County sheriff's officials that Lechner requested help moving a large quantity of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil.

Authorities aren't accusing him of plotting to detonate the mixture.

Prosecutors also charged Ken Kassab of Brimley. A plea agreement for Kassab was filed last month.

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