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Press Release

Castroville Felon Sentenced to Federal Prison for Possession of Firearms

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas
Felon shared threatening social media posts, possessed firearms and chemical precursors for explosives

SAN ANTONIO – A Castroville man was sentenced in a federal court in San Antonio to 60 months in prison for one count of felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, Buel DeWayne Smiley, 63, was reported to the FBI for sharing posts that expressed anti-government and pro-white sentiment and encouraged others to blow up infrastructure. In his posts, Smiley displayed books on making improvised munitions and chemicals that could be used as precursors to make explosives. The FBI determined that Smiley, a convicted felon, also was depicted brandishing firearms in his social media posts and agents observed him on his property with a gun that appeared to be one visible in the posts.

FBI agents arrested Smiley on March 9. A search of his residence revealed loaded firearms, boxes of ammunition, several books or instruction manuals about making improvised explosives, lab equipment, handwritten notes that appeared to discuss experiments with homemade explosives, and chemical precursors for explosives. Smiley pleaded guilty to the charge of felon in possession of a firearm on Aug. 15.

“This is a great example of ‘If you see something, say something,’” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas. “Thanks to a concerned member of the community who was alarmed by the defendant's social media broadcasts calling for political violence, the FBI was able to investigate and arrest the defendant for illegally possessing firearms before he could do further harm to the community. I thank our partners at the FBI for their hard work.”

“Buel Smiley not only made threats to attack critical infrastructure, he had the materials and instructions to follow through,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Doug Olson for the FBI San Antonio Division. “This sentence ensures that he won’t have the opportunity to follow through with his threats to endanger our communities. I want to thank the Medina County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this case.”

The FBI investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Yuen prosecuted the case.


Updated December 18, 2023

Firearms Offenses