Family: FBI knew Oklahoma City bomb plot suspect is schizophrenic

Posted at 11:40 AM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-16 15:21:28-04

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The family of a man accused of attempting to detonate what he believed was an explosives-laden van outside an Oklahoma bank says he is a paranoid schizophrenic and that the FBI knew it.

Clifford and Melonie Varnell, of Sayre, Oklahoma, issued a statement late Tuesday that questions the tactics undercover FBI agents used to arrest 23-year-old Jerry Drake Varnell.

Federal officials arrested Varnell on Saturday for the alleged plot to detonate a vehicle bomb in an alley adjacent to BancFirst in downtown Oklahoma City. The family's statement says Varnell has no resources to do such a thing alone and that the FBI "aided and abetted a paranoid schizophrenic to commit this act."

FBI spokeswoman Jessica Rice in Oklahoma City and Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Williams declined comment Wednesday.

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