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‘Would-be terrorist’ Bill Keebler freed after pleading guilty in attempted bombing

Posted at 11:19 AM, Jul 09, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY — The leader of a Utah militia group is being released from jail Thursday after he pleaded guilty on charges related to the attempted bombing of Bureau of Land Management building on the Utah-Arizona border.

A judge decided William "Bill" Keebler, who has been incarcerated since 2016, has spent enough time in jail after he admitted to driving from Tooele County to Mount Trumbull, Ariz. to try to blow up a cabin owned by the BLM.

Keebler will be on probation for three years and, because he's a convicted felon, can no longer possess any firearms.

Keebler was a member of the “Patriot’s Defense Force” and had come under FBI surveillance after his support for Cliven Bundy during his standoff with the government. FBI agents had infiltrated Keebler’s group and built him the bomb, which fizzled.

Keebler’s supporters have previously told FOX 13 they believed he had been set up by the federal government.

"It was an investigative decision to capture that conversation after he thought he had detonated that explosive - to undercut that, to show folks this was not our concoction. This was his will. This is what he wanted to do. In his very own words, he expressed that," said Eric Barnhart, Utah's FBI Special Agent in Charge.

The judge said Keebler’s myriad health issues, including a heart condition and prostate cancer, was a consideration in not giving him more prison time.

Keebler is likely to return home to Tooele County Monday afternoon.