Mississippi Teenager Held on Weapons Charges
Posted: December 9, 2004
A former member of the racist Nationalist Movement was arrested in Mississippi for allegedly selling an explosive device to an undercover ATF agent.
James Vaughn Rankin, 19, allegedly sold a suitcase bomb to an agent for $130 in a store parking lot in Brandon. He is charged with the possession, transfer and manufacture of unregistered destructive devices.
Special Agent Austin R. Banks, a spokesman for the New Orleans Division of the ATF, said Rankin “was trafficking in explosive devices,” and had “knowledge and skills to construct explosive devices.”
In 2002, Rankin and his mother moved from Eaton, Pennsylvania, to Learned, Mississippi, where the Nationalist Movement, headed by leader Richard Barrett, is based. A message posted on the group’s Web site claims that Rankin had “briefly been a member of a pro-majority organization during 2002, but had been let go for ‘incorrigibility.’”
Rankin is also listed on a No-No List on Crosstar, another Nationalist Movement Web site that “publishes the more serious infractions of those who have been disassociated” from the group.
Rankin was arrested on November 9 after a nearly three month investigation. The ATF indicated that they became aware of Rankin after an informant told them that Rankin left seven grenades in the informant’s backyard.
Officials found bomb making manuals and explosive components, including electrical blasting caps, and about five pounds of black powder, during a search of Rankin’s home.
Rankin, who was on probation for grand larceny at the time of his arrest, is being held in the Madison County jail.