Last updated December 12, 1997
Calendar of Conspiracy, Volume 1, Number 3: A Chronology of
Anti-Government Extremist Criminal Activity, July to September
A Militia Watchdog Special
The following is a chronology of some of the events
surrounding anti-government criminal activity in the United
States during the third quarter of the year 1997. It
illustrates both the scope of such activityfrom
large-scale acts of terrorism to local acts of harassment and
intimidationand its geographic extentfrom major
cities like Los Angeles to remote rural areas in Texas and
Colorado. The chronology is not comprehensive. Although all
major events are included, no systemized reporting system
exists for smaller scale events. As a result, arrests or
convictions for charges such as placing bogus liens,
impersonating public officials or committing similar offenses
are considerably underrepresented in this report. Such
activities occur with a very high level of frequency across
the nation. This report includes events from twenty-five
states, but activity occurs in every state in the country.
July 1, Wisconsin: Anti-abortion activist Dale Pultz goes
on trial in Dane County for filing a $700,000 bogus lien
against a Milwaukee judge who ruled him in contempt of court.
He also filed a "Common Law Arrest Warrant" against
the judge. He is charged with slander of title and forgery.
Pultz was a member of the group Missionaries to the Preborn,
which has advocated forming anti-abortion militias. He will
be convicted the next day.
July 3, West Virginia: Jack Phillips, of the West Virginia
Mountaineer Militia, pleads guilty to conspiring to
manufacture explosives, as part of an alleged plot to destroy
the FBI fingerprinting facility in Clarksburg, West Virginia.
He is the second member of the group to plead guilty.
July 3, Montana: Lavon Hanson, associated with the Montana
Freemen, pleads guilty in a plea bargain to one count of bank
fraud relating to his attempt to pass a bogus money order for
$428,000 to a bank in Spokane, Washington. Hanson was one of
the first Freemen to be arrested, triggering the lengthy
standoff at Jordan, Montana. As part of his plea bargain,
Hanson agrees to discuss the Freemens activities with
July 3, California: Isabel Oxx, of Westlake, California,
is convicted of jury tampering in connection with the fraud
trial of Elizabeth Broderick, convicted for distributing
bogus money orders. Oxx herself had previously tried to use
such checks to pay off loans and make large purchases.
July 4, Texas: FBI agents arrest two men, Brad Glover of
Towanda, Kansas, and Michael Dorsett of Texas, on weapons
charges. The two were allegedly on their way to Fort Hood,
Texas, where they planned to launch some sort of an attack on
the base as the first of a series of planned attacks on
military installations they believed to harbor UN troops.
July 7, Kansas: Scott Roeder is sentenced to sixteen
months in state prison for parole violations following a 1996
conviction for having bomb components in his car trunk.
Roeder, a sovereign citizen and tax protester, violated his
parole by not filing tax returns or providing his social
security number to his employer.
July 9, Washington: James Bell of Vancouver, Washington,
is charged with using false Social Security numbers and with
attempting to impede or obstruct agents from the IRS. The
latter charge includes having stink-bombed the Vancouver IRS
office. Bell, a member of the Multnomah County Common Law
Court, is more well known for having written an Internet
essay on "Assassination Politics" which advocates
the murder of federal officials.
July 10, Wisconsin: Merlon Lingenfelter, Jr., is arrested
on weapons charges in connection with the activities of
Bradley Glover et al, above.
July 10, Colorado: Terry and Kevin Hobeck are arrested on
weapons charges in Creede, Colorado, in connection with the
activities of Bradley Glover et al, above.
July 10, Texas: Richard McLaren and three other members of
the Republic of Texas who were involved in a week-long
standoff with Texas authorities the previous May are
arraigned in state district court on charges of organized
criminal activity and, for McLaren, burglary. Two others also
face kidnapping charges.
July 11, Kansas: Thomas and Kimberly Newman are arrested
in Kansas on weapons charges in connection with the
activities of Bradley Glover et al, above.
July 17, Washington: James Bell (see above) pleads guilty
to obstructing the IRS and using false Social Security
July 17, Ohio: A $20 million bond is set by an Ohio judge
for Chevie Kehoe, one of two Washington brothers involved in
a shootout with Ohio police officers in February.
July 23, Washington: Verne Jay Merrell, Charles Barbee and
Robert S. Berry, three of the "Spokane Bank
Bandits" and alleged Phineas Priests, are convicted on
eight felony counts in Spokane, Washington. The three, along
with others, were involved in several armed bank robberies
and bombings in 1996. Their first visit to court resulted in
a mistrial. They face mandatory sentences of life in prison
July 23, Oklahoma: Common law court activists Darrell and
Sally Frech are convicted on 13 felony charges involving
conspiracy to defraud, mail fraud and money laundering. The
Freches were associated with Roy Schwasingers "We
the People" group, involved in nationwide scams. They
claimed to be national representatives of the
"Agricultural Related Damages Program" who told
gullible people that the U.S. banking system had been
declared unconstitutional and that any American who had taken
loans or paid taxes was entitled to damages. The Freches
charged $300 to process "damage claims." They made
more than $400,000 from people in over 20 states, collecting
at least 1,500 claim forms.
July 25, Oklahoma: James Viefhaus, Jr., an Oklahoma white
supremacist, is found guilty on conspiracy charges including
making a bomb threat and having bomb components. A companion
is later found not guilty in a separate trial.
July 25, Washington: John Lloyd Kirk is sentenced to 46
months in prison on charges of possession of a pipe bomb and
conspiracy to possess and make destructive devices. Kirk was
part of a group of seven militia members and freemen arrested
the previous year.
August 1, Indiana: Militia leader and tax protester Joe
Holland, already serving a ten year prison sentence in
Montana, is sentenced to seven years in prison for bankruptcy
fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. Holland compares
himself to the person who stood in front of the tank in
Chinas Tiananmen Square.
August 6, Missouri: David Wilber receives a conviction in
St. Louis County Circuit Court on charges of failing to pay
state income taxes or filing tax returns. Wilber, an
outspoken tax protester who hasnt filed federal or
state income tax returns since 1977, faces up to twenty years
in prison. Wilber claims that the monetary system of the
United States is invalid.
August 6, Nevada: A federal grand jury indicts three
Storey County militiamen on five charges, adding to six
previous counts, related to selling illegal machine guns and
making bombs to blow up government vehicles. The three
militiamen included Griffin Evan Rausch, Jr., a Storey County
sheriffs patrol officer, Kevin Storms, a reserve
deputy, and his brother, Robert Storms, a bartender at the
"Bucket of Blood" saloon.
August 8, West Virginia: Floyd Raymond Looker is found
guilty on charges relating to a plot to blow up the
Clarksburg, West Virginia, FBI fingerprint laboratory,
including conspiracy to engage in manufacturing and dealing
in explosives without a license. Looker told jurors that he
didnt know it was illegal to build bombs. Looker was
the self-styled "general" of the West Virginia
Mountaineer Militia. A second trial is scheduled on other
August 8, Kansas: A common law court in Topeka Kansas,
meeting in the state capitol building "impeaches"
U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten. Because the group
called itself the Kansas Territorial Agriculture Society,
state officials did not realize the its nature. Members
wanted to "impeach" Marten for jailing a Kansas
couple and seizing their land for not paying income taxes.
The group plans to impeach federal and state judges and the
state attorney general. Eventually the state legislature will
revoke their authorization.
August 12, 1997, Florida: Common law court activists in
Florida receive a major setback as Emilio Ippolito, head of
the "Constitutional Common Law Court" and his
followers receive convictions for conspiring to intimidate
legal authorities. The jury brings back 82 verdicts (60 of
them guilty verdicts), convicting Ippolito and his daughter
Susan Mokdad on numerous counts, and four other individuals
on a lesser number of charges. A seventh defendant was found
guilty on all counts, while an eighth was acquitted on the
counts against him. The lengthy trial lasted three months.
The 71-year old Ippolito faces up to 186 years in prison.
August 12, 1997, Montana: The Montana State Supreme Court
throws out a lawsuit filed by former Cascade, Montana, mayor
Tom Klock, removed from office in 1995 after he deposited $20
million in Montana Freemen bogus money orders in
Cascades bank account in 1995. Klock filed a lawsuit
against the town and county accusing them of conspiring to
violate his civil rights. The state had charged Klock on
three counts, but dropped them because the federal government
planned to file federal charges against him. So far, it has
filed no charges.
August 13, 1997, West Virginia: Floyd Looker pleads guilty
to selling blueprints of an FBI fingerprinting facility to a
suspected terrorist group (actually an undercover agent) just
one day before his trial is scheduled to begin. His plea
agreement calls for a maximum of 25 years in prison; the
government drops six remaining counts against him.
August 14, 1997, Utah: Tax protester Rulon Frederick
DeYoung is found guilty on six counts each of second-degree
felony tax evasion and third-degree felony failure to file a
proper tax return. The former school bus driver faces up to
30 years in prison. DeYoungs case was the first tried
by the Utah State Tax Commissions new criminal
August 15, Iowa: A federal judge fines 32 tax protesters
$36,000 for filing a frivolous lawsuit against the
government. The group, led by Paul Graber of Fairfield, Iowa,
filed a suit arguing that income taxes were voluntary and
that their having to pay taxes violated the Thirteenth
Amendment, which prohibits slavery. They asked for $672
million in damages. The judge fines Graber $5,000 and the
others $1,000 each.
August 19, Minnesota: Tax protesters Marilyn and Ronald
Kerkvliet try to sue their judge at their sentencing hearing
in federal court in St. Paul. However, the tactic fails; US
District Judge Paul Magnuson recesses the hearing long enough
for another federal judge to hear and reject the
couples suit. Magnuson then sentences the two, along
with a third person, Roger Leffler, for their use of bogus
money orders obtained from the Montana Freemen. Marilyn
Kerkvliet receives four years and two months on eight counts
of mail fraud and passing counterfeit checks, while her
husband receives one year and nine months on a single mail
fraud charge. Leffler receives a sentence of two years and
August 19, 1997, New Hampshire: Carl Drega, a
self-described "sovereign citizen" who had engaged
in a long-running battle with local authorities over taxes
and various zoning and local ordinances, embarks upon a
murderous rampage. Drega first kills two New Hampshire state
troopers who pull him over for a motor vehicle equipment
violation; this was apparently an ambush on Dregas
part. Drega then drives into Colebrook, New Hampshire, and
murders a part-time judge, as well as a newspaper editor who
tries to apprehend him. Leaving in a police cruiser, he
drives to his home and sets fire to it, apparently to create
a diversion. However, authorities catch up with him and
engage him in a 45-minute firefight that results in his
death. His home contains a huge arsenal of plastic
explosives, pipe bombs and other deadly materials.
August 20, 1997, Oklahoma: Kansas resident Karen Pearl
Hanzlicek is sentenced to 23 months in prison on charges of
conspiracy, mail fraud and passing illegal checks obtained
from the Montana Freemen. Her husband Bill receives a lesser
August 21, 1997, Ohio: Kevin Caes of Clarksville,
Tennessee, is arraigned on charges of kidnapping and rape
after being arrested for allegedly kidnapping a woman from
Nashville, Tennessee, bringing her to Harrison Township,
Ohio, then raping and torturing her for more than a week at
his parents home. Police find six guns, bomb-making
equipment, and considerable white supremacist and survivalist
August 25, 1997, West Virginia: The first trial under the
new federal anti-terrorist law results in a conviction for
firefighter James Rogers for his role in a plot by the West
Virginia Mountaineer Militia to blow up an FBI fingerprinting
facility. He faces ten years in prison.
August 25, 1997, Ohio: Tony Gamble, Imperial Wizard of the
Tristate Knight Riders of the Ku Klux Klan, is arrested in
Cincinnati on rape and sodomy charges involving sexual abuse
of a 13 year old girl for a period of a year and a half.
August 26, 1997, Michigan: Brendon Blasz, a Michigan
Militia member, is sentenced to 37 months in jail by a
federal court for making and carrying pipe bombs. His
sentence could have been up to 71 months without parole, but
Blasz makes a plea agreement to help authorities with other
investigations associated with Michigan Militia members.
August 27, 1997, North Carolina: Montana Freeman Russell
Landers receives a 30 year sentence for purchasing vehicles
in North Carolina with bogus money orders to drive to Montana
to outfit an armed convoy designed to kidnap public officials
in Montana. An associate, James Wells, receives a 12 year
August 29, 1997, Texas: Police arrest two Republic of
Texas members in Fort Davis, Texas, as they attempt to serve
"civil federal summonses" on people disliked by
jailed Republic of Texas leader Richard McLaren. Theresa Holt
and Susan Blackmon are held on misdemeanor trespassing
August 29, 1997, Arkansas: Two men, including Patrick
Bernet, a member of the Republic of Texas, create a bomb
scare at the Pulaski County Courthouse in Little Rock,
Arkansas, when they toss two heavy envelopes into the
fourth-floor office of a circuit court judge then run away.
The envelopes actually contain copies of a lawsuit that
Republic of Texas members had filed against the judge and
other officials. Bernet faces a trial of his own in Little
Rock Municipal Court in upcoming weeks on charges of filing
bogus liens against public officials.
September 4, 1997, Arkansas: Patrick Bernet (see above) is
arrested inside the federal courthouse in Little Rock. He was
scheduled to appear before a municipal court on two counts of
filing a false lien; when he failed to appear, a warrant was
issued for his arrest. Police find him in a bathroom in the
federal courthouse four blocks away. Federal marshals also
arrest Clifford Finch of North Little Rock for assaulting a
U.S. marshal shortly after the arrest.
September 4, 1997, Montana: Stewart Waterhouse, the
Arkansas militia figure and fugitive who entered the Montana
Freemen compound in the spring of 1996 to aid them during
their standoff with federal authorities, pleads guilty in
federal court to hindering the FBI from arresting the
Freemen. He pleads guilty to one count of being an accessory
after the fact; the government will in return seek dismissal
of a second charge accusing Waterhouse of being a fugitive in
possession of a firearm. Waterhouse will cooperate fully with
authorities and provide a statement of all his activities and
knowledge of the other Freemen defendants. He is the second
of the 24 jailed Montana Freemen to plead guilty.
September 5, 1997, Montana: Montana Freeman Casey Clark
pleads guilty to being an accessory after the fact in a plea
bargain arranged by his attorney. Clark is one of the very
few Montana Freemen to have attorneys; the rest represent
themselves. As part of the agreement, Clark will cooperate
fully with authorities, but will not have to testify against
family members or against the closely-tied Stanton family.
Clark is the third Freemen to accept a plea bargain.
September 5, 1997, Utah: Gloria Ward, one of the members
of the Montana Freemen who held off authorities for 81 days
in remote eastern Montana, is sentenced to 15 months in
prison for Social Security fraud.
September 8, 1997, Arizona; Charles Knight, a member of
the Arizona Viper Militia, is sentenced to 57 months in
prison and a $5,000 fine for a conviction involving
conspiracy to make or possess unregistered explosive devices.
Ten members previously pled guilty; a twelfth member still
awaits trial. Knight claimed the groups involvement
with explosive devices was merely for entertainment, and that
if it had been a sewing circle blowing things up in the
desert, no one would have been alarmed.
September 8, 1997, New Hampshire: Brian Chabot is
sentenced to ten months in prison and home detention for his
role in stealing $100,000 worth of military equipment from
Fort Devens in 1995. Chabot and two other members of the
militia group called the Hillsborough County Dragons stole
the equipment, then later offered to retrieve it for
authorities from "organized crime."
September 9, 1997, Pennsylvania: Fugitive Grant McEwan of
Lake Mary, Florida, is arrested in Pennsylvania by federal
and state law enforcement officers. McEwan, a millionaire,
vanished from a cruise ship in 1996 a few weeks before his
trial on tax protest and weapons charges was to begin. A
former militia organizer who contends that he is a
"sovereign citizen," he was arrested in November
1994 for filing a bogus $1.1 million lien against the
government and for threatening to take over an IRS office.
September 17, Kansas: Robert Riccomini, an employee of the
Kansas Department of Corrections, is charged with attempted
felony theft in connection with writing a bogus money order
in 1995 for more than $20,000 to the Capitol City State Bank
in Topeka. Riccomini is associated with a loose collection of
right-wing extremists centered around St. Marys, Kansas,
members of which have been involved in a number of crimes
across the country. The money order was one created by the
Montana Freemen. Pottawatomie County Sheriff Tony Metcalf
estimates that over $4 million in bogus money orders were
written in his county alone.
September 17, Texas: Kerr County law enforcement officers
arrest self-proclaimed militia leader Carl Schier for
possession of an explosive device (and marijuana). His mother
called 911 after her bathroom exploded; when searching the
premises, authorities found homemade explosives. Explosives
had been seized from Schier in the past.
September 18, Minnesota: Authorities arrest a group of
Minnesota tax protesters for attempting to avoid taxes by
moving money offshore and for using bogus money orders to pay
back taxes. Indicted are Marilyn and Ronald Kerkvliet
(previously convicted on other charges; see above), Milton
Bigalk, Kenneth Bigalk, and Marvin Pullman.
September 19, Texas: Republic of Texas fugitive Richard
Keyes is arrested on a country road in East Texas, 55 miles
north of Houston. Keyes was the sole Republic of Texas member
involved in a weeklong standoff with authorities earlier this
year to escape. He eluded pursuers for months. He is charged
with engaging in organized criminal activity and two counts
of aggravated kidnapping with a deadly weapon, as well as
unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Keyes was originally
from St. Marys, Kansas (see above).
September 19, West Virginia: A jury acquits of all charges
two of seven militia members arrested in connection with a
plot to destroy an FBI fingerprinting facility in Clarksburg,
West Virginia. James Johnson and Imam Lewis, both of Ohio,
were accused of providing 1,000 explosive devices to the
Mountaineer Militia, but their lawyers argued that the
devices were simply high-powered firecrackers. The five other
members either pled guilty or were convicted.
September 19, Texas: Carl Jay Waskom, Jr., pleads guilty
to one count of conspiracy to affect interstate conspiracy by
robbery. He is one of four white supremacists arrested in
connection with a plot to bomb a natural gas processing plant
in North Texas as a diversion in order to commit a bank
September 20, 1997: Idaho. Two Pennsylvania brothers,
Craig and Doug Brodrick, kill a police officer and wound
another in downtown Boise during a traffic stop. The gun
battle ends in their deaths as well. Stopped for failing to
signal, the brothers open fire on officers, seven of whom are
eventually involved in the shootout. Police later search
their residence, finding a variety of weapons, ammunition,
and samurai swords. One of the rifles had been illegally
converted or partially converted to fully automatic. Also
found were various guides on building explosives.
September 22, 1997, Illinois: Shirley Allen of Roby,
Illinois, begins a standoff with local and state authorities
after shooting at a sheriffs deputy who tried to
execute a court order for her to undergo a mental
examination, sought by members of her family. Allen pointed a
shotgun at police negotiators, after which state troopers
fired "bean-bag shots" at her. She then fired the
shotgun at police. Her standoff, which stretches on for
weeks, becomes a "cause celebre" among the militia
and patriot movement, resulting in militiamen and similar
individuals showing up from around the country to protest.
September 24, 1997, Arkansas: White supremacists Chevie
Kehoe and Danny Lee are charged in Pope County, Arkansas, for
their role in the murder of an Arkansas gun dealer, his wife
and their daughter in 1996. Kehoe and his brother Cheyne are
already in custody for a shootout with police officers in
Wilmington, Ohio, earlier this year. Kehoe and Lee have
connections with various skinhead and neo-nazi groups in the
Pacific. Lee is arrested in Yukon, Oklahoma.
September 24, 1997, California: Federal agents arrest
Frank Boyd Cockrell II, of Sherman Oaks, California, for
plotting to blow up the Ventura County Courthouse. Cockrell
wanted to destroy the evidence in his upcoming securities
fraud trial, but he unfortunately enlisted the aid of an
undercover agent posing as a member of a militia.
Cockrells plan involved murdering a couple to rob them
to finance the bombing; he gave the agent a $2,000 down
payment. Cockrell also planned to blow up the Ventura
Freeway, destroy an oil refiner and various other extravagant
September 30, 1997, Washington: Brian Ratigan, the fourth
member of the "Spokane Bank Bandits" (see above) to
be arrested, is convicted of bombing a Planned Parenthood
clinic in Spokane in July 1996 and taking part in a bank
robbery the same day. He faces at least 50 years in prison.