Police: Domestic terrorism averted in Greenwood

Greenwood police believe they stopped an attempt at domestic terrorism earlier this month.

The Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office says Christopher C. Byrne, 31, of Indianapolis, was pulled over in Greenwood Aug. 15, after officer Eric McElhaney spotted him driving suspiciously near Greenwood Park Mall. There had been several car break-ins there.

Our news-gathering partners at Network Indiana report that  Byrne refused to show the officer his ID, saying he was a “sovereign national”, said the police report. That’s when Byrne was ID’d as a habitual traffic violator and was arrested.

Officers searched his car and found bottles filled with bleach and ammonia, a rifle with a scope and 100 rounds of ammo in his car, Network Indiana reports. Bleach and ammonia are dangerous when put together, releasing a toxic gas.

Byrne had a history with officers, according to the prosecutor. He was convicted in 2015 of stealing guns and other police equipment from the Greenwood PD, including an AR-15 rifle that was stolen out of a police car. That car was set on fire outside the officer’s home.

Byrne was also facing trial Aug. 23, but pleaded guilty to carrying a handgun without a license and being a habitual traffic violator. He could get a six-year sentence on those charges.

Now prosecutors are looking into whether additional charges could be added for the latest incident.