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Agent says he had tax evader in his gun sight

Ed Brown, with a gun tucked into his waistband, spoke with his wife, Elaine, before a news conference in 2007. Ed Brown, with a gun tucked into his waistband, spoke with his wife, Elaine, before a news conference in 2007. (Jim Cole/Associated Press/File 2007)
Associated Press / July 3, 2009
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CONCORD, N.H. - A federal sharpshooter had tax evader Ed Brown’s head in his crosshairs and was ready to pull the trigger during a failed attempt to arrest Brown at his rural New Hampshire home two years ago, the agent told a federal jury yesterday.

Deputy US Marshal Edward Recor said that moments after Ed and Elaine Brown were tipped off about the June 7, 2007, raid, he watched through his telescopic sight as Brown appeared in a turret at his fortified home, raised a .50-caliber rifle, and pointed it down the driveway.

Recor said he and other agents backed off after Brown lowered his weapon.

Recor’s testimony was given on the third day of trial on federal charges that Ed Brown, 66, and Elaine Brown, 68, barricaded themselves in their Plainfield home for nine months with a stockpile of weapons after being convicted of evading federal taxes in 2007.

Recor said he trained his sight on Brown’s left temple and waited for Brown to lift the rifle to his face. US Attorney Arnold Huftalen asked Recor what he would have done if Brown had made that move.

“I would have had to fire,’’ said Recor.

Recor was part of a sniper team assigned to cover other agents who intended to arrest Brown at his mailbox.

The plan was foiled when a Brown supporter walking in the woods stumbled upon them.

Four months later, Brown and his wife were arrested.