FBI arrests 5 people from New Mexico compound
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The FBI arrested five people at a New Mexico compound on charges of violating federal firearms and conspiracy laws, local NPR affiliate KRWG reported Friday.

Authorities allegedly seized at least 11 firearms and a "large quantity" of ammunition according to a Justice Department report obtained by the outlet. 

The five defendants, found at a makeshift settlement in Amalia, New Mexico, were charged in a complaint filed earlier Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico.


Prosecutors in New Mexico accused the five defendants of plotting attacks against schools and other institutions the group deemed "corrupt."

Three of the defendants, Lucas Morton, his wife, Subhannah Wahhaj, and her sister Hujrah Wahhaj, had charges dropped against them on Wednesday, leading them to be released, Reuters reported. They faced 11 counts of child abuse and neglect after authorities discovered 11 children living in abject conditions in the compound and the body of a 3-year-old boy. 

The children at the settlement were found without access to food and clean water, and the body of a child believed to be a sibling was found on the property by investigators following their initial arrests.

Defense attorneys say the five, who are accused of denying the child anti-seizure medicine causing his death, were conducting a faith-healing ritual and are being discriminated against for their faith. All five defendants are Muslim and related by blood or marriage.

Reuters reports that prosecutors who failed to bring successful charges against the group on Wednesday were heavily criticized for allowing alleged Muslim extremists walk free.

State attorneys vowed to refile the case on Thursday after a judge dismissed child abuse charges against the group.

“Our options are to re-file the charges or take the case to the grand jury,” District Attorney Donald Gallegos told Reuters in a statement. “What is important to know is that we will continue to pursue prosecution of the cases.”

The defendants are set to make their first court appearances in Albuquerque on Sept. 4.