An arrest of a local gunsmith (so he has a machine shop) who seems to have a history of conspiracy theory stuff:

Gun dealer raided
Crawford County man charged by ATF; court papers sealed

john.bartlett@timesnews.com

MEADVILLE A Crawford County gun dealer known for his outspoken criticism of government power was arrested on firearm violations Thursday after heavily armed federal agents raided his West Mead home and adjacent business.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives served a search warrant and took self-proclaimed "patriotic, Christian American" Darrell Sivik into custody at about 9 a.m.

He was arraigned at about 4 p.m. in Erie before Federal Magistrate Susan Paradise Baxter. The courtroom was ordered closed, and the search and arrest warrants were sealed and not available.

Federal officials said the documents will be made available Monday.

Sivik in past interviews called himself a patriotic, Christian American, a member of the Patriot Movement and a member of the Pennsylvania Militia.

"By virtue of being a citizen, you have an obligation to be a militia member," he said in a 1998 interview.

Federal agents spent more than five hours searching Sivik's Williamson Road home, occasionally hauling out materials most of which appeared to be files and metal ammunition boxes and placing them in their vehicles.

The agents arrived in more than a dozen cars, vans and sport utility vehicles, one of which got stuck in a field across the road from Sivik's home.

State police established roadblocks about 100 yards both east and west of Sivik's home, turning back all traffic until about 2:20 p.m.

A half-dozen ATF agents wearing helmets and other combat gear and armed with pistols and what appeared to be fully automatic carbines clustered a small distance away in a field.

Agents in combat gear also set up, at least briefly, on two nearby roads that are parallel to Williamson Road.

The agents who searched the house wore casual clothes. Two police dogs also were at the scene.

Several times, agents at the scene would leave and then later return.

At 11:40 a.m., an agent drove into the scene in Sivik's Jeep, followed by another agent in a minivan. The jeep was left parked along the road in front of Sivik's home when agents left the scene.

At about noon a small, single-engine plane arrived, flying low overhead. It circled more than a half-dozen times, as if deliberately scouting the area, before departing.

At 12:20 p.m. a UPS van reached the roadblock and the driver said he had a delivery for Sivik. An ATF agent came out to the roadblock and talked with the driver. He checked the package addressed to Sivik and then returned it to the driver and sent him on his way.

ATF and other law enforcement personnel wrapped up their search at about 2 p.m. A few minutes later they withdrew the roadblock and left the area in a convoy without explanation.

The agents were apparently drawn from a wide area, with license plates on their vehicles including Indiana, Maryland and Virginia, as well as Pennsylvania.

Sivik's wife, Kathleen Sivik, who was then left home alone, refused to talk to reporters. A few minutes later the couple's son, Darrell Sivik Jr., arrived and went into the home.

After about 20 minutes he came out and spoke briefly with reporters.

"All I know at this point is basically the ATF served a search warrant and took into custody my father and transported him to Erie," Darrell Sivik Jr. said. "That's pretty much all we know."

Darrell Sivik Jr. said he did not learn of the search and arrest of his father until later in the afternoon after returning from a business trip.

"Everyone is fine. We just don't know what is going on," he said.

He expressed no surprise at the number and armament of the federal agents.

"We all know what happened in the past with ATF," Darrell Sivik Jr. said, without elaborating. "They will bring themselves prepared."

Sivik, who operates a gun shop and gunsmithing service, has often been in the news for leading tax protests, burning the U.N. flag in demonstrations in Meadville's Diamond Park, and rallying opponents of federal firearms laws.

Several times Sivik has run for local office.

He also gained notoriety for battling with the Federal Communications Commission over a low-power radio station he operates at 88.3 FM and calls Braveheart Radio.

"All we know is, (the federal agents) are claiming a violation of firearms laws," his son said.