A Tennessee militia member who told an undercover federal agent that the U.S. is “being invaded” by migrants was planning to travel to the southern border with a stockpile of weapons and commit acts of violence against federal border agents, according to a criminal complaint.
Paul Faye, of Cunningham, was arrested in Tennessee on Monday by the FBI after a nearly yearlong investigation and charged with selling an unregistered firearm suppressor (silencer). He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted on the charge, according to the complaint filed this week by federal prosecutors in Nashville.
Faye will appear in federal court on Feb. 12 for a detention hearing. His arrest was first reported by the online publication Court Watch.
The complaint said Faye attracted the attention of federal investigators when they noticed he had “extensive contact” with Bryan C. Perry, a Tennessee militia member who authorities said was planning a violent conflict with Border Patrol agents before his arrest in 2022.
Perry, of Clarksville, Tennessee, has been charged with conspiring to kill federal agents. Federal investigators said Perry tried to recruit members to his militia to travel to the border to shoot migrants and federal agents. Perry allegedly fired at FBI agents who traveled to Missouri to arrest him in October 2022.
Faye had intended to travel to the border with Perry before Perry’s arrest, according to the complaint, which did not identify by name the militia or militias Faye is accused of being associated with.
A public defender representing Faye didn’t immediately respond to an email message seeking comment Tuesday afternoon.
Faye had a stockpile of weapons at his Tennessee home and told a person working undercover for the FBI that he had a substance known as Tannerite, which can be used to make land mines, according to the complaint. Faye told the undercover agent during an initial meeting in March 2023 that he believed the U.S. government “was training to take on its citizens” and purposely allowing migrants to cross the border “to help the government,” the complaint said.
In a May 2023 phone call, Faye told the agent that “the patriots are going to rise up because we are being invaded,” alluding to migrants crossing the southern border. Faye also said he planned to take explosives to the border and serve as a sniper with a militia group traveling there, the complaint said.
In mid-December 2023, Faye told an undercover agent during an in-person meeting he “discussed coordinating with militia groups from Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee,” according to the complaint.
The complaint says Faye told the agent “his hope is ‘to stir up the hornet’s nest’ at the border so that others will come in to provide further support. Specifically, Faye stated, “Well, I’m going to tell you … what’s going to happen. What I hope happens. Is called a domino effect. I want, I want the news to find out about it. The right kind of news.'”
Faye invited the undercover agent to his home on Jan. 11, according to the complaint, where the agent saw Faye’s cache of weapons, ammunition and a bulletproof vest, the complaint said. During that meeting he “discussed the plan to travel to the U.S./Mexico border and indicated the desire to commit acts of violence,” the complaint said.
Faye later sold the undercover agent an unregistered firearms suppressor with no serial number for $100, the complaint said.