June 11 US Trial Set for UP Man in Explosives Case

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) -- A northern Michigan man accused of buying and hiding more than 4,000 pounds of explosives with enough power to equal the Oklahoma City bombing faces a federal trial next month.

Sixty-four-year-old John Lechner of Sault Ste. Marie goes on trial June 11 in U.S. District Court in Marquette. There's a pretrial conference June 5.

Lechner quit an earlier deal with prosecutors that called 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.

Last months, prosecutors also charged Ken Kassab of Brimley, who once worked for Lechner.

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