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Feds charge 'Mountain Man' accused of Utah cabin thefts

By Associated Press | Posted - Oct 12th, 2013 @ 9:28am

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Federal prosecutors filed weapons charges against a wilderness fugitive accused of burglarizing remote cabins across a wide swath of Utah.

Troy James Knapp, 46, was charged with assaulting a federal officer, use of a gun during a crime and felony possession of a firearm, according to an indictment filed Thursday by the U.S. attorney's office in Utah.

Prosecutors say Knapp, known as the "Mountain Man," fired at federal officers with an assault rifle as he was being captured on April 2. Authorities have previously said that Knapp shot at a police helicopter before he surrendered that day outside a mountain cabin in Sanpete County.

Authorities say the California parolee lived in or ransacked remote cabins across Utah after going on the run in 2004, eluding police for years while stealing guns, whiskey and supplies.

Knapp is already charged with 39 burglary-related charges in six Utah counties.

Federal prosecutors stepped in and took the lead on the case in mid-September, postponing a plea hearing in Sanpete County. Sanpete County prosecutor Brody Keisel said he had been trying to negotiate a single plea deal on all state and possible federal charges but gave up after Knapp refused to cooperate.

Knapp does not have a defense attorney and planned to represent himself in state court.

Authorities have said that Knapp told detectives he spent years wandering the wilderness alone and ransacking cabins while holing up in some during winters. He is accused of stoking fires, using all the firewood, consuming all the food, and sleeping in cabin beds before moving on to the next dwelling.

Knapp is scheduled to make an appearance in federal court Tuesday.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 10/11/2013 5:49:00 PM (GMT -6:00)

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