Franey landed on law enforcement's radar in April 2015 when a witness went to police to alert them Franey "regularly talked about his support for ISIL and claimed he wanted to go oversees to 'join the fight,'" according to the criminal complaint filed in federal court.
The witness said Franey talked about "his desire to kill Americans" and that he "wants to travel to Afghanistan to kill American soldiers, and that all non-Muslim Americans should be killed."
Franey was discharged from the Army in 2008 and told people he "deserted the army" after six years, according to court documents. The complaint says Army documents uncovered in the investigation confirm the claim.
Franey told the witness he was interested in obtaining an AK-47.
According to one witness, Franey also said "the U.S. and Iranian governments were corrupt and that he would have no hesitation 'taking out cops' if they interfered with him."
"I just wish I could get over there (Syria and Iraq.) I would kill everyone," said Franey, according to the criminal complaint.
In September another witness told police Franey asked if they were interested in becoming an "ISIS warrior."
He told that person "things were going to happen" and that "we (would be) cutting cops' heads off" and there was "going to anarchy."
Based on the information from several witnesses, the FBI launched an undercover operation to further investigate Franey -- using an undercover agent to befriend Franey and pretend to be black market gun dealer.
Franey went with the undercover agent on five staged firearms trafficking delivery trips. Franey allegedly told the undercover agent, Osama Bin Laden "is a diamond. He's a holy warrior. He's a beautiful man."
He also allegedly praised Anwar al-Awlaki as a "scholar."
"You're way less ignorant and argumentative than most Americans," Franey told the agent, according to the documents.
Franey is charged with five felony counts of unlawful possession of weapons, including machine guns.