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Malden man convicted of buying weapons to kill ex-wife’s husband

A Malden man who plotted to kill his ex-wife’s husband, a sitting federal judge, and a former Massachusetts attorney general purchased a lethal arsenal from an undercover FBI agent and was promptly arrested, federal officials said.

Edward McLarnon was convicted Tuesday by a federal jury in New Hampshire of paying $700 to the agent for an AK-47 assault rifle, a .22-caliber pistol with a silencer, and two military-grade hand grenades made inert by the FBI.

McLarnon was convicted of receiving firearms with intent to murder, receiving explosives with intent to harm persons or property, receiving an unregistered silencer, and receiving explosives. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison on each charge when he is sentenced May 10.


In addition to his ex-wife’s husband, McLarnon wanted to target former Attorney General Martha Coakley and current US District Court Judge Dennis F. Saylor IV, according to court records.

According to an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Brian P. LeBlanc filed in US District Court in Concord, during the 2015 investigation McLarnon sent a “wish list” asking for a cache of firearms and explosives to be delivered to him.

He asked for, among other things, “a .22 handgun — the type the Mafia uses,” an AK-47 or equivalent with “4 clips and lots of bullets,” and a “bunch of grenades.”

He told the undercover agent that he wanted to kill his ex-wife’s new husband for “kidnapping his son” and wanted to attack the man at work with a firearm that was quieter than the .38-caliber pistol he already owned.

“Well, see, my .38 is a revolver. So it makes a lot of noise, even if put a thing on it,’’ McLarnon told the agent, according to court records. “It would still make a lot of noise. . . . I want to be able to go into an office . . . do my business, and leave without . . . the adjoining offices knowing what’s going on.”


McLarnon met with the agent in Chichester on Nov. 5, 2015, and was provided with the two guns, the silencer, and the two hand grenades — and was taken into custody by FBI agents before he left the area.

“I am grateful to the jury for rendering this swift and just verdict,” acting New Hampshire US Attorney Farley said in a statement. “Thanks to the hard work of the brave law enforcement officers who participated in this investigation, the defendant’s violent plan was stopped before anyone was hurt.”

In 2016, US District Court Judge Steven McAuliffe ordered McLarnon to undergo a psychiatric examination because the judge was concerned that McLarnon was “suffering from a mental health condition rendering him mentally incompetent“ to stand trial. He was found competent earlier this month, according to court records.

McLarnon represented himself during the trial and described himself in one handwritten motion as a “real life, flesh and blood citizen of the organic United States.” He described one of the attorneys appointed to represent him as a “whore of the court” who provided him with an audio recording of a court appearance that he insisted had never happened.

Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division, which includes New Hampshire, said the conviction means McLarnon “will not be able to further endanger innocent lives. This case is a testament to the tireless efforts of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.’’


John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.