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After 10-Hour Standoff, Man Barricaded in Sampson Home Surrenders

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REBEL CITY — A standoff that lasted close to 10 hours between a gunman and Sampson County Sheriff's deputies ended peacefully Wednesday night.

Mont Smith, 36, had been holed up in his home since about 11 a.m. He told a friend over the phone that he would not surrender to police.

Members of theArmy National Guardwere in the skies Wednesday in search of marijuana as part of theBladerunner program.

They hit the jackpot off Ernest Williams Road in Sampson County about 1,000 yards from a house.

National Guard members said the standoff started when they went to approach Smith with deputies and theSBI.

"He told me that he wasn't the aggressive one, that the SBI was the aggressive ones," said Smith's friend.

Over the phone, Smith told a friend, who did not want to be identified, that he was provoked by law enforcement as they came on his property in force.

Smith said he was wrongfully accused of growing the marijuana. He admitted firing two shots but said it was only as a warning.

A Guard member on the property at the time said it appeared he was using an assault rifle and that he was shooting toward the helicopters.

As SBI agents negotiated with Smith over the phone, deputies tore down the pot plants, some of which were found on another man's property nearby.

"It makes me feel bad. I don't like for somebody putting something on my property, and we did not do it," said the landowner.

Smith's friend also said Smith was in the house with his girlfriend and a tank of gasoline. He said he will not surrender.

"He's not coming out of the house for a reason like that. He says he'll blow his brains out before he comes out. He doesn't want anyone on his property. He just wants to be left alone," said Smith's friend.

The friend described Smith as having anti-government views. Neighbors said Smith has been in trouble with the law before.

The SBI had set up a command post at a nearby church.

Smith was taken to the Sampson County jail just after 9 p.m., then to the VA Hospital in Fayetteville.

He has since been charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer and communicating threats. Smith is also facing drug charges.

Smith's girlfriend has been charged with resisting an officer.

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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