Years before an apparent bombing in Plano made Anson Chi the subject of a federal criminal investigation, the law was already looking for him.
The FBI suspect and 33-year-old political activist has been a fugitive since 2009 in California, where authorities say he violated his probation on a concealed-weapon conviction.
He was arrested in Collin County in April, charged with failing to identify himself to authorities.
Early Monday, a week before he was scheduled to appear in court in that case, an explosion in the 3600 block of West Parker Road damaged an above-ground gas line, shot shrapnel into the air and put Chi in the hospital with critical injuries.
In a complaint filed Wednesday, FBI agents charged Chi, a self-published author who has expressed deep mistrust of the U.S. government, with possessing an explosive device during the incident.
Agents raided his home in the 3200 block of Anchor Drive on Tuesday, removing and destroying a suspicious device. They returned again Thursday evening, pulling out more evidence for unknown reasons.
The FBI continued to decline to comment on the case Thursday, but reiterated earlier statements that there does not appear to be a continuing threat to the public.
In an undated online résumé, Chi lists his work history under the heading “Paid Slavery.”
His “Miseducation:” a business degree from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2000.
Chi wrote that after graduating, he worked in California, Taiwan and various Texas cities as a systems engineer before ending up as a grass-roots “campaign director” for the 2008 presidential campaign of Libertarian Ron Paul, to which federal records show he donated $1,700.
Chi’s anti-government passion was evident in a 2007 YouTube video. After introducing himself, he held a 1040 tax form up to the camera, tore it in half and declared, “I will not file, nor will I pay, a single penny in income tax until I see the law” requiring it.
The next year he self-published an online book titled Yellow on the Outside, Shame on the Inside: Asian Culture Revealed, which he described as a work of fiction based partially on his own life.
In the book, Chi wrote that the U.S. government is controlled by banks and described the monetary system as “nothing more than modern day slavery.”
“Thank you, Mommy and Daddy,” he wrote, “for turning me into an emotionless robot, just for the sake of money, status, and power. … I seriously need counseling.”
The main character prepares to commit suicide at the end of the book.
That same year, 2008, Chi was sentenced to three years’ probation in Orange County, Calif., after pleading guilty to carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle.
He violated the probation in late 2009, according to the Orange County Superior Court of California, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
By 2012, Chi was living with his parents in a house on Anchor Drive, which they have owned for more than two decades. Neighbors there described him as a “glum,” “weird” and “spooky” recluse.
Amanda Judd said Chi often invited her 17-year-old son over for “ice cream and video games,” but she forbade the boy from going.
Dan McFarland said he stopped walking his dog by the house after Chi and his father once chased him down the street.
“If that guy knew anything about bomb-making, he could have created a real catastrophe,” McFarland said.
In April, Chi was arrested and charged in Collin County with failure to identify himself as a fugitive. His first court appearance in that case was scheduled for June 25.
The arrest did not stop him from posting prolifically to his Facebook page. Mixing gag photos with anti-war messages and jabs at President Barack Obama, he updated the page almost daily until two days before the explosion.