CONCORD, N.H. (Reuters) - A wooded compound in New Hampshire that was the site of a tense standoff between an anti-government couple and federal agents in 2007 sold at auction on Thursday for $205,000, despite concerns that the property may be booby-trapped.
The auction at the federal courthouse in Concord marked the second time the U.S. Marshals Service had tried to sell the 103-acre property in Plainfield, which includes the fortified building where Ed and Elaine Brown lived before agents posing as pizza delivery men ended the standoff.
Authorities also sold an office building belonging to the Browns in the city of Lebanon for $415,000, bringing the total from the sale of their properties to $620,000. The money will go toward settling the tax debts of the Browns, who rejected the federal government’s authority to tax its citizens.
A previous auction last August failed to yield any bids on the wooded acreage. At the time, prospective buyers were not allowed to inspect the property out of safety concerns. For the latest round, would-be buyers were allowed to visit the properties with an Internal Revenue Service official.
Deputy Chief U.S. Marshal Brenda Mikelson said she was “very glad” the properties had sold.
The buyer’s identity was not immediately disclosed. Officials closed off the courtroom while details of the transaction were worked out with the buyer. The sale has a 45-day closing period.
The 2007 standoff began when federal agents tried to apprehend the Browns on tax evasion charges.
During the course of the nine-month standoff, the property drew numerous anti-government activists, among them Randy Weaver, the man at the center of the bloody standoff in Ruby Ridge, Idaho in 1992 that left dead his wife and son as well as a federal marshal.
The Browns are serving at least 30 years in prison on charges of plotting to kill federal agents.
Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Will Dunham