A former West Pawlet resident is behind bars in Alaska after he made multiple threats to return to Vermont with plans to kill family members and friends, while also planning to blow up a state police barracks in Massachusetts, court records show.
Benjamin C. Tarbell, 34, most recently of Kasilof, Alaska, is charged with five counts of interstate threatening communications and one count of cyberstalking, according to a federal indictment returned Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Anchorage.
Authorities intercepted Tarbell as he tried to check a rifle, a handgun and two knives with his baggage at an airport in Alaska this month.
Tarbell, who moved from Vermont to Alaska in April, had made various threats in recent months, including that he planned to kill people, the indictment noted. He said he planned to fly to Burlington and follow through on the threats, the indictment said. Tarbell was in the midst of divorce proceedings, court records show.
Special Agent Wendy Terry reported in a court affidavit that Tarbell used various social media programs to make threats about several people, including his parents and a brother. He made threats via direct text messages and Instagram, Terry wrote.
“The threats have escalated in violent tone,” according to Terry, who is assigned to the bureau’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Alaska. The task force investigates international terrorist organizations and homegrown violent extremists, Terry said.
Tarbell also appeared to make reference to the operator of the Slate Ridge shooting range in Pawlet, Daniel Banyai.
Tarbell warned one person in a message to “steer clear of bonyai he is telling me he’s going to run a train on you and (expletive) you. He’s a dangerous coward and needs to die,” a screenshot of one text notes.
Spelling, punctuation and capitalization are off in some of the notes that are incorporated into the criminal complaint filed with the court.
Tarbell writes that he wants to reclaim “6891.” Public records show he once lived at 6891 Vermont Route 30 in West Pawlet.
“I will reside at 6891. It’s my home,” he said in another message.
He also was associated with Tarbell Truck and Equipment Repairs, records show.
The FBI said Tarbell called the state police in Massachusetts on Sept. 1 at 1:06 a.m. and demanded the arrest of a person, and he was told to call the local police department where the person lived.
It was during a second phone call at 1:28 a.m. that Tarbell claimed he would bomb the barracks and “kill everyone of you mother (expletive).”
Tarbell said the Green Mountain Boys of the Air National Guard would drop the bombs, the FBI said.