A Brentwood man has been found guilty on federal weapons charges after he purchased military hand grenades from undercover FBI agents in Seabrook.
The trial, held in the federal courthouse in Concord, was the first since March due to the pandemic.
Prosecutors say Daniel Musso, 56, was attempting to amass an arsenal of weapons “as part of a frightening plan to defend his version of what our government should be.”
A licensed firearms dealer initially alerted law enforcement after Musso inquired about purchasing hand grenades and other military-grade explosives. During meetings with undercover FBI agents, Musso said he wanted to “take our country back” and bring back the “original constitution.”
Musso purchased four defused hand grenades from undercover agents in January 2016 in Seabrook and asked about additional military weaponry, according to prosecutors.
A district court judge initially dismissed the case, agreeing with Musso’s contention that because the grenades were deactivated they couldn’t be considered destructive devices under the law. A federal appeals court overturned that decision.
A sentencing hearing hasn’t yet been scheduled.
The in-person trial was conducted with social distancing guidelines, including jurors seated in the gallery rather than in the jury box. Next week, state courts will resume jury trials with a single pilot trial in Cheshire County.