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Man who tried to cut power lines planned on ‘destroying the society,’ according to court records

"So the question is whether or not you will help me get the Courts to actually respect the law and undo the damage they did to my family. If not, I might as well do my part in destroying the society."

The scene in Tyngsborough the day after the devices were found. Jim Davis / The Boston Globe

In a typed and printed 503-word note, Danny M. Kelly explained why he tried to cut massive high-voltage power lines that crossed through Tyngsborough last week, a federal agent wrote in an affidavit filed in federal court.

After firefighters extinguished almost four acres of flames near the National Grid power lines on March 30, they found the note stuck to one of the poles.

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The note threatened to spread the word online about how to use the cutters found on the power lines, the agent wrote. It explained how the cutters were tested, by severing a 1-inch black pipe. And the note said why the power lines were targeted.

“The point is to get some of the damage our corrupt DOJ [Department of Justice], Courts [sic] have done to my family in their goal to punish me for standing up for my rights,” Kelly wrote, according to the affidavit.

“So the question is whether or not you will help me get the Courts to actually respect the law and undo the damage they did to my family. If not, I might as well do my part in destroying the society. (There is no question that our corrupt courts have destroyed the usa [sic] and destroying mankind. But all that no longer matters to me. I am only concerned about my family.)”

According to the affidavit, Kelly directed whoever found the letter to open up a P.O. Box for him, via a phony Craigslist job posting.

Three days later, on April 2, Kelly was arrested at his Chelmsford home, where investigators found ion oxide, aluminum powder and other materials that could be used to create an incendiary device, the agent wrote. They were the same materials used to create the devices found on the power lines in Tyngsborough.

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He is charged with attempting to maliciously damage and destroy property in interstate and foreign commerce with fire, a federal charge that carries five to 20 years in prison. Kelly’s public defender did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The note found in Tyngsborough echoed others Kelly admitted to sending 11 years ago. In 2005, he pleaded guilty to extortion charges after cutting 18 telephone and cable lines. He was given five years probation and ordered to pay nearly $380,000 in restitution. So far, he’s paid $25 per month, or about $3,100.

In that case, he blamed the “corrupt” government for his attacks.

In one letter to Verizon, he boasted about how quickly he could cut the line, in just 20 minutes, and demanded $10,000 monthly to be deposited into his account.

“The only true hope of catching or stopping me is to make the payoff!” he wrote.

In those letters, according to court filings at the time, Kelly said he was an unemployed engineer who hadn’t worked since about 2000. He blamed Verizon and Comcast for hiring foreign engineers instead of Americans.

Kelly has a litigious streak. Fifteen cases dating back to 1991 have been filed by Kelly in federal court, against former Gov. William Weld, his former employer Nortel, Canobie Lake Park, McDonald’s, the Town of Chelmsford and others. This past December, he sued Chelmsford over the town’s nativity scene.

 

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