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Massachusetts Man Dan Kelly Charged With Power Line Sabotage

A Massachusetts man was charged Monday with trying to cut power lines running to Quebec — a decade after he pleaded guilty to a similar stunt.

Dan Kelly — who has filed a slew of lawsuits against his hometown of Chelmsford, including one over a nativity scene — harbors a deep grudge against utility companies and government entities, according to court papers.

In the latest case, he threatened to sabotage National Grid's equipment and share his methods on the Internet unless the company made contact with him, court papers allege.

Kelly, a former engineer, is accused of buying thermite, a pyrotechnic compound, on eBay and using it to make pipe-bomb-style contraptions he placed on National Grid high-voltage lines used to import power from Canada.

Authorities discovered the vandalism last week when they responded to a brush fire that engulfed four acres of land. They also found an anonymous note taking credit attached to one of the poles.

"It is going to be an expensive war, if you want to play it. I see no way you can win!" the note said. "Now I fully understand that I cannot win. That is not the point."

The point was not entirely clear in the note, though the author railed against corrupt courts, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office.

In 2004, federal authorities charged Kelly with cutting 18 above-ground cables as part of a scheme to extort money from Verizon and Comcast, which is NBC's parent company, because he was upset he could not find work.

He pleaded guilty and got five years probation in that case, court records show.

Investigators said the notes sent in the 2004 case bear similarities to the letter found after the fire last week. In addition, one of the incendiary devices contained a UPS sticker, and authorities were able to trace UPS shipments to Kelly and recover an unused device from his home.

A criminal complaint says that when agents told Kelly they knew he had planted the devices and asked for his side of the story, he responded, "Then arrest me."

Kelly, who claims in court papers to be terminally ill with cancer, has represented himself in his most recent lawsuits and it is not clear if he has an attorney.