UPDATE: Suspect Facing Multiple Charges For Jade Helm Shooting Incidents In Mississippi

Via Reverb Press

The man arrested by Mississippi Bureau of Investigation agents on August 5 in connection with the two Camp Shelby shootings has been identified as Alfred L. Baria, 61.

Baria claimed initially that what the soldiers at Camp Shelby thought were gunshots were actually caused by his truck backfiring, which he claimed he could do on command. He has admitted to being the driver of the vehicle during both incidents at the Jade Helm military site.

Witnesses reported hearing what sounded like shots being fired about 8 a.m. Wednesday, August 5, in the same area where a similar noise was heard about 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, August 4, MBI Lt. Col. Christian Patterson said.

WAPT News reports:

Soldiers involved in a training exercise reported hearing what sounded like shots being fired about 8 a.m. Wednesday in the same area where a similar noise was heard about 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, Lt. Col. Christian Patterson said.

When Alfred Baria, 61, drove by a patrol checkpoint after Wednesday’s incident, authorities said he made his Isuzu pickup truck backfire, which prompted his arrest and a joint federal and state investigation.

Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were brought in to investigate a strange package in the truck that was later determined to be harmless, authorities said.

The Clarion Ledger reports:

The ATF sent a bomb task force from Biloxi to verify whether the device was, in fact, explosive. Once the six to seven-inch piece of PVC pipe, painted olive drab green with end caps attached, was x-rayed, it was found not to be a pipe bomb.

“He more than made it, he painted it… He wanted it to look like” a pipe bomb, said ATF Resident Agent in Charge Jason Denham. “But practically or legally, it was not an explosive device that we would be able to prosecute.”

“I don’t know if maybe he was doing some plumbing at his house, or maybe some other kind of work.” Smith said.

At this point, officials said, there are no charges related to the fake pipe bomb.

Whether Baria actually fired shots is still under investigation. No shell casings have been found in the area. Col Greg Michel said there were no confirmed shots, but that soldiers manning the traffic control points believed what they heard were gunshots.

Who is Alfred Baria?

Besides being the man who is accused of four counts of disturbing the peace of an individual and two of being a felon in possession of a firearm, what is known about him?

From the Clarion Ledger:

According to MDOC records, Baria, 61, was first on the radar when he was convicted of burglary in Jackson County in 1976. He was sentenced to five years on March 3, 1976.

Twenty-six years later, on Jan. 28, 2002, Baria was sentenced in Perry County Court to six years in prison for felony possession of a controlled substance. The sentence was first handed down as house arrest, but for some reason it was revoked. He went back to prison on April 10, 2002.

The next run-in was in Jackson County in 2006. Baria was sentenced to five years in prison for possession of meth precursors with intent to distribute, 12 years for possession of a controlled substance, three years on a separate count of possession of a controlled substance, three years for felon in possession of a firearm, and 12 years for manufacturing a controlled substance. Those sentences were to run concurrently.

Baria was released on parole in June 2012, and was off probation by May 10 of this year.

Perry County Sheriff Jimmy Dale Smith said he has been in county jail on minor charges in the past, with his only major offense being the drug charges.

 When he was stopped by authorities Wednesday, he had a fake pipe bomb in his truck, as well as two long PVC pipes sticking out of the bed of the truck. Search warrants were issued for his car and his home, and while no weapons were recovered from the car, the fake pipe bomb was found.

The ATF sent a bomb task force from Biloxi to verify whether the device was, in fact, explosive. Once the six to seven-inch piece of PVC pipe, painted olive drab green with end caps attached, was x-rayed, it was found not to be a pipe bomb.

“He more than made it, he painted it… He wanted it to look like” a pipe bomb, said ATF Resident Agent in Charge Jason Denham. “

Baria is charged with four criminal counts. He is scheduled to appear in court on Friday, August 7.

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