OKLAHOMA CITY -- 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. He was taken into custody early Saturday for the alleged plot to detonate a vehicle bomb in an alley adjacent to BancFirst in downtown Oklahoma City.
Varnell, who lives with his mother and stepfather in Sayre, about 130 miles west of Oklahoma City, is jobless due to his schizophrenia and does not have the resources to carry out such an act alone, according to the family's statement.
"The FBI came and picked him up from our home, they gave him a vehicle, gave him a fake bomb, and every means to make this happen," the statement said, adding that authorities "should not have aided and abetted a paranoid schizophrenic to commit this act."