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Last Updated October 30, 1998

 

Calendar of Conspiracy, Volume 2, Number 2: A Chronology of Anti-Government Extremist Criminal Activity, April to June 1998

A Militia Watchdog Special Report

 

INTRODUCTION

The following is a chronology of some of the events surrounding anti-government criminal activity in the United States during the second quarter of the year 1998. It illustrates both the scope of such activity—from large-scale acts of terrorism to local acts of harassment and intimidation—and its geographic extent—from major cities like Minneapolis to remote rural areas in Texas and Washington. 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. Some examples are included in this chronology to give some indication of the type of activities of this sort that take place. This report also generally does not include hate crimes, although occasionally extraordinary hate crimes are reported, because the line sometimes blurs between hate crimes and other extremist criminal activity. This report includes events from twenty states, but activity occurs in every state in the country.

 

APRIL

April 3, 1998, Tennessee: Two Federal Aviation Administration employees, David Waller and Jay Maggi, receive sentences on tax evasion convictions. Waller is sentenced to four months in a halfway house and two months in home detention, while Maggi is sentenced to four months in federal prison and four months in home detention. Both are tax protesters who had claimed to be exempt from paying taxes because they were not U.S. citizens or were not "persons" under the federal tax code.

April 6, 1998, Idaho: George Michael Gott is sentenced to nine years in federal prison for his conviction on 23 counts of defrauding the government, mail fraud, bank fraud, and other charges. He was part of a group of Idaho "constitutionalists" who used fraudulent "common law trusts" and filed bogus liens against their enemies.

April 7, 1998, Texas: Two Republic of Texas members involved in the 1997 kidnapping attempt and subsequent standoff receive stiff sentences. Gregg Paulson is sentenced to life imprisonment for his role, while his wife Karen is sentenced to 30 years in jail.

April 13, 1998, West Virginia: Terrell Coon of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, is sentenced to four years in jail and three years of supervised release for his role in the West Virginia Mountaineer Militia plot to blow up the FBI fingerprinting facility in Clarksburg, West Virginia. He had been convicted of three counts of illegally transporting explosives across state lines and two counts of firearms violations.

April 13, 1998, California: Elizabeth McGuire is sentenced to 123 days in jail for attacking a Van Nuys Municipal Court commissioner outside a courthouse. McGuire was a "constitutionalist" who was trying to serve a bogus lien when she made the attack.

April 14, 1998, Michigan: Three members of the North American Militia are indicted on twelve federal counts of possessing machine guns and threatening to assault and murder federal officers. The three, Bradford Metcalf, Randy Graham, and Ken Carter, were allegedly planning to use drugs to finance a terrorist plot. They also face drug charges.

April 14, 1998, Texas: A jury returns guilty verdicts against eight Republic of Texas activists, including leader Richard McLaren, on charges of bank and mail fraud. McLaren is convicted on 26 counts. One defendant, Mark Hernandez, is acquitted on all counts.

April 15, 1998, Florida: Juan J. Rodriguez is arrested in Orlando on 29 charges of bank fraud, credit-card fraud, money laundering and theft related to his use of bogus money orders created by the Montana Freemen. Rodriguez used the fake checks to overpay credit card companies, demanding that they refund the excess "overpayment."

April 22, 1998, California: Two alleged white supremacists plead no contest to drug charges and hate crimes involving bomb threats and a shooting. Jeffrey Allen Campbell agrees to a 15 year prison sentence and Justin Nicholas Bertone to a seven year sentence. The two planted fake bombs in southern California in 1997 and made other bomb threats. The two are allegedly part of a white supremacist gang called White Criminals on Dope.

April 27, 1998, Illinois: Dennis McGiffen, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan in southern Illinois, pleads guilty to federal firearms charges in an agreement in which the U.S. government stated that it would file no more charges "for crimes now known to the government." McGiffen was alleged to have been involved in a white supremacist group called the New Order that plotted to commit bombings, robberies and other acts of terror.

April 27, 1998, Utah: Tax protester Brown Kaplar receives a fifteen year prison sentence for his conviction on five tax-related felonies in February. Kaplar could have received probation had he admitted wrongdoing and paid his taxes, but chose not to.

April 27, 1998, Texas: Two couples are charged with filing bogus liens on the property of Internal Revenue Service agents, as well as on their former employers. David and Mildred Fant and Clarence and Mary Williams are each charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

April 30, 1998, Texas: A federal judge in Washington, D.C., rejects arguments raised in a lawsuit by Richard and Evelyn McLaren, leaders of a Republic of Texas faction. He rules that Texas, in fact, is actually part of the United States.

 

MAY

May 1, 1998, Michigan: Charles Prins, a member of an extremist group called Ethical Good Government, shoots and seriously injures two sheriff's deputies who were following his vehicle to arrest him on contempt of court warrants. He is charged with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of felony firearms violations. Prins escapes into the woods.

May 1, 1998, Colorado: Wallace Stanley Kennett receives an 18-month sentence for possessing an illegal machine gun. Kennett was one of three members of a militia group called the Colorado First Light Infantry to be arrested on weapons charges.

May 2, 1998, Ohio: "Sovereign citizen" and Christian Identity adherent George Wolf attempts to kill two rescue workers in a drive-by shooting. Upset by being blocked by emergency vehicles responding to a 911 call, he fires at the responders, hitting two. He is charged with two counts of attempted murder.

May 5, 1998, Texas: Donald Ray Anderson, a Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations member, receives a twelve year federal sentence for charges relating to a shooting spree at a synagogue in which, luckily, no one was hurt.

May 7, 1998, Florida: Three Florida white supremacists, Brian Pickett, Christopher Norris, and Deena Wanzie, are charged with various conspiracy, bank robbery, explosives and weapons charges in connection with a plot to set bombs as diversions while they committed bank robberies. The plot was exposed when a fourth member, Todd Vanbiber, injured himself when one of his bombs exploded in 1997. Two members of the group were also members of the neo-Nazi National Alliance. Pickett and Vanbiber are also accused of having robbed a Danbury bank in February 1997.

May 8, 1998, Michigan: Charles Prins, the Michigan fugitive on attempted murder charges (see above), is killed after a weeklong manhunt. Because local authorities shot Prins, while Prins apparently shot himself as well, the actual cause of death is not clear.

May 11, 1998, Washington: White supremacist Kirby Kehoe pleads guilty to four federal firearms charges involving possession of a machine guns and hand grenades. Kehoe is better known for involvement in a white supremacist plot involving his sons Cheyne and Chevie to establish an "Aryan People's Republic."

May 12, 1998, Montana: Montana Freemen Ebert Stanton pleads guilty to one count of bank fraud and one charge of accessory after the fact in a plea bargain that also involves his cooperation in the upcoming trial of Freemen leaders.

May 12, 1998, Michigan: Militia member John Stephenson is sentenced to 3 to 5 years for accessory after the fact of murder and felony firearm possession for his role in the murder of fellow militia member William Gleason. Stephenson and Paul Darland (still at large) murdered Gleason, who they thought were informing on them to militia leader Mark Koernke, with whom they had grown disenchanted.

May 12, 1998, Michigan: Traverse City police sergeant Dennis Finch is murdered as he tries to calm down an agitated man waving an assault rifle and a pistol, claiming that Traverse City was the capital of the New World Order. After John Charles Clark kills Finch, he barricades himself in his home with more than 100 guns, grenades and pipe bombs. After a nine hour standoff he is arrested after being shot. Clark also reportedly had a fallout shelter in his basement.

May 13, 1998, Florida: Christopher Sherborne, a weapons dealer associated with the militia movement, is arrested for extradition to California on weapons charges. He is thought to be obtaining weapons from "underground sources."

May 14, 1998, Illinois: Ralph Bock and Glenn Lowtharp plead guilty to weapons charges in connection with a plot by a group styling itself the "New Order" to commit various crimes to pursue a racial war.

May 14, 1998, Washington: Police seize an arsenal of more than 70 pipe bombs, as well as machine guns and hand grenades, from Gregory McCrea, a suspected child rapist. McCrea is suspected of having ties to militia or other extremist groups.

May 14, 1998, California: Jeffrey Allen Campbell is sentenced to 15 years and Justin Nicholas Bertone to seven years in prison for their role in planting fake bombs and other crimes to intimidate minorities (see above).

May 14, 1998, California: "Sovereign citizen" Francis Marafino, Jr., is convicted on six counts of tax evasion by a jury which deliberated for less than an hour. Marafino, who hadn't filed a tax return since 1984, defended himself.

May 15, 1998, Virginia: Tax protester Roger Menner is found guilty on five counts of failing to file a federal income tax return; he had claimed that the tax system was a fraud.

May 15, 1998, Texas: KKK Imperial Wizard Eric Brandon Lane is sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting two teenagers during a Klan initiation rite.

May 15, 1998, Illinois: Karl Schave, associated with members of the white supremacist group "The New Order," pleads guilty to possessing a bomb made of plastic explosives. Schave had agreed to supply other members with explosives, equipment and a safe house.

May 18, 1998, Ohio: Common law activist Larry Russell, who escaped from jail on April 29--the very day he arrived to begin his 18-month sentence--is reapprehended and returned to jail.

May 19, 1998, Kentucky: Two members of the White Aryan Legion are arrested. Charles E. Hall is charged with discrimination in housing, mailing threatening communications and destruction of government property in connection with his attempts to harass mixed-race couples. He is also accused of having fired two shots into the Langley Post Office. Daniel Koplitz is charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and with having an unregistered destructive device. The White Aryan Legion alleged planned to gather weapons for an upcoming revolution, including even seizing weapons in a raid on a National Guard Armory.

May 21, 1998, Ohio: Four bank robbers with connections to Aryan Nations are arraigned on bank robbery charges. John Luther, William Luther, Scott Smith, and Richard Luther, Jr. (who was still being sought by authorities when the indictment was released) reportedly robbed two banks in Lorain County and attempted to rob a bank in Summit County. William Luther allegedly wanted to take the money to the Aryan Nations compound in Idaho. They have also been linked to the National Alliance.

May 21, 1998, Utah: Militia leader and white supremacist Johnny Bangerter is arrested near his apartment after defying an arrest warrant for nearly nine months, promising bloodshed. The warrant was issued after he failed to appear for a sentencing hearing in August 1997 on a charge of fleeing police in January 1997, when he was stopped for driving without a license and carrying a loaded weapon in his vehicle.

May 27, 1998, Illinois: A member of "The New Order," previously indicted on weapons charges, is the subject of a new federal indictment alleging that the member, Wallace Scott Weicherding, had a hit list of names and targets for planned assassinations.

May 27, 1998, Montana: Two Montana Freemen enter guilty pleas. Dana Landers admits to having brought stolen property across state lines to the Freemen ranch, while Emmet Clark pleads guilty to threatening to kidnap and murder U.S. District Judge Jack Shanstrom.

May 29, 1998, Illinois: Daniel Rick pleads guilty to three charges involving selling a machine gun to members of "the New Order," which allegedly planned a campaign of assassinations, robberies and bombings. Rick is the fourth member to plead guilty in connection with the group; a fifth entered a not guilty plea and will face trial.

May 29, 1998, Colorado, Utah: Three survivalists with ties to militia and patriot groups murder a Cortez, Colorado, police officer who discovered their attempt to steal a water truck. This murder--as well as subsequent shootings during their attempt to escape and the discovery of pipe bombs among their belongings--sparks a huge manhunt in remote southeastern Utah for the fugitives. One suspect, Robert Mason, soon kills himself as searchers close in on his location. However, the other two, Alan Pilon and James McVean, elude hundreds of searching law enforcement officers.

May 29, 1998, Texas: Anthony Michael DeLeon, leader of the "Saginaw Militia," is arrested on federal weapons charges following an incident in which a Fort Worth police officer found a sawed-off shotgun and other weapons in his car during a traffic stop.

May 31, 1998, Idaho: Five members of Aryan Nations are arrested at the group's Hayden Lake compound on charges of obstruction and unlawful assembly after a confrontation with law enforcement officers responding to a report of a battery in progress.

 

JUNE

June 1, 1998, Michigan: Ken Carter of the North American Militia pleads guilty to federal charges of conspiring to possess machine guns, threatening to assault and murder federal employees, and threatening to damage and destroy federal buildings by explosives. As part of the deal, he agrees to testify against fellow militiamen Bradford Metcalf and Randy Graham.

June 2, 1998, Montana: U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour, presiding over the trial of the Montana Freemen, orders defendant John P. McGuire, out on bond since October 1997, back to jail after McGuire issues a call for militia members to come to Billings, Montana, to free the Freemen.

June 3, 1998, Florida: Joseph Dayton Self is arrested on an outstanding warrant for skipping a jury trial on charges of driving while under suspension and not having a vehicle registration. Self is a "sovereign citizen" who each year accumulates many traffic violations because he refuses to obtain vehicle tags or registration or to obey similar laws.

June 5, 1998, Colorado: Convicted Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols receives a life sentence for his role in the terrorist attack.

June 6, 1998, Montana: Four of the Montana Freemen receive sentences for their activities related to the group. Steven Hance and his sons James and John Hance, and Jon Barry Nelson, were found guilty of being accessories after the fact to an armed holdup of a television news crew. The Hances were also convicted of being fugitives in possession of firearms. Steven Hance receives a 78 month sentence, Nelson a 71 month sentence, John Hance 63 months and James 67 months. A fifth defendant, Elwin Ward, had been released because the time he'd already served was about equal to the time he would be sentenced.

June 6, 1998, Texas: In one of the nation's most horrific hate crimes, three Texas men with ties to white supremacist groups kill a black man by dragging him behind a pickup truck until his body falls apart. The three men arrested for the crime are Lawrence Russell Brewer, Shawn Allen Berry and John William King. They are charged with murder several days later.

June 9, 1998, Florida: Emilio Ippolito, founder of the Constitutional Common Law Court in Tampa, Florida, is sentenced to 11 years in prison on multiple counts of obstructing justice and sending threatening letters.

June 9, 1998, Arizona: Authorities evict members of a religious sect who took over six vacant government houses awaiting resale. The sect, Regency House Church, is led by Jason Corey Bullard, currently in state prison serving a 23-year term on theft and fraud charges. Regency House recorded bogus deeds for the property at the county recorder's office. Espousing "common law" theories, they claim not to recognize the authority of the government.

June 10, 1998, Florida: Charles Dunnigan, an associate of Emilio Ippolito (see above), is sentenced to six years in prison on seven counts of conspiracy to impede or injure federal officials, sending threats and obstruction of justice.

June 10, 1998, Mississippi: Deavours Nix, a 72 year old former Ku Klux Klan member convicted of a 1966 firebombing attack, is sent to prison. Two weeks earlier he had claimed to be too ill to be jailed for the attack, which killed one person. However, he was since spotted playing golf at a golf course.

June 10, 1998, Michigan: Redford Township resident Mark Gaydos is killed in a shootout with township police after a traffic stop confrontation. Gaydos was pulled over for not having a driver's license and told he would be arrested. He fled on foot and fired at police officers pursuing him, injuring one; they returned fire and killed him. Following the incident, police search his parents' home (where he lived) and discover an arsenal of guns, bullet-proof vests, 35,000 rounds of ammunition, a pipe bomb, an upside down flag with the words "Remember Waco" printed on it and other assorted paraphernalia. Also discovered during the search was evidence that suggested Gaydos had been the person who had harassed a state representative's reelection campaign in 1996, shooting up the official's campaign signs and placing them outside his campaign headquarters, as well as making harassing phone calls. The representative had refused to back a concealed carry law.

June 12, 1998, Kentucky: Four members of the White Aryan Legion are indicted on charges of violating the civil rights of mixed-face couples. James David Taylor and Jon Taylor are new names on the indictment; group leaders Charles Hall and Daniel Koplitz had been arrested earlier (see above).

June 14, 1998, Maine: Following a three hour standoff, John Strout of Unity, Maine, shoots himself in the head. Before his suicide, he tells a deputy he had gotten "in over his head with a militia organization."

June 15, 1998, Maine: Two Bangor real estate dealers are sentenced to short prison terms and required to pay $14,000 after pleading guilty to failure to file state income tax returns. The two were tax protesters who decided they were not subject to taxes. Maine, like a number of other states, has started increasing prosecutions of tax protesters and has convicted more than 75 people to this date in 1998.

June 17, 1998, Ohio: Not guilty pleas are entered for three men charged with failing to file tax returns and conspiring to defraud the government through the use of a tangle of abusive trusts to hide their income and assets. The three, Edgar Bradley and his sons Edgar Bradley, II, and Roy Bradley, deny they are the defendants mentioned in the indictment because the indictment spells their name in capital letters and they claim their names are spelled in both capital and small letters. The judge orders the senior Bradley to undergo a psychological evaluation to determine if he is competent to be tried.

June 18, 1998, Florida: Common law court activist Laurent Moore receives a 10-year sentence for threatening judges and jurors; he had been part of Emilio Ippolito's "Constitutional Common Law Court."

June 18, 1998, Washington: Edward Dale Pope, a self-proclaimed member of Aryan Nations, is arrested for assaulting a police officer with a blowtorch. The officer had responded to a disturbance at a local business.

June 18, 1998, Kentucky: Charles Hall, leader of the White Aryan Legion, pleads guilty to violating the rights of mixed-race couples in eastern Kentucky (see above). The other three members indicted had entered not guilty pleas earlier in the week.

June 19, 1998, Texas: Richard Keyes, last of the Republic of Texas members to face trial for their 1997 kidnapping attempt and standoff, is convicted on a charge of burglary with intent to commit aggravated assault. He is sentenced to 90 years in prison.

June 23, 1998, Florida: Susan Mokdad, daughter of and accomplice to common law court activist Emilio Ippolito, is sentenced to ten years in prison for sending threats and obstructing justice.

June 19, 1998, Florida: Constitutional Common Law Court member Jack Warren receives a fifteen year federal sentence on ten counts of conspiracy, sending threats and obstructing justice. He is already three years into a seventeen year sentence for threatening officials in Orlando.

June 23, 1998, Texas: Republic of Texas leader Richard McLaren is sentenced to 12 years in federal prison and ordered to make $426,000 in retribution for his use of $1.8 billion worth of bogus financial instruments. He is already serving a 99-year state term for the 1997 kidnapping and standoff. Evelyn McLaren is sentenced to 27 months in federal prison.

June 23, 1998, Florida: Constitutional Common Law Court activist John Gentz is sentenced to six months in a halfway house plus 2 1/2 years of probation for a charge of conspiracy. Gentz receive a light sentence because he had played a minor role and had cooperated with investigators.

June 24, 1998, Massachusetts, Vermont: Terrence McGee, a Vermont software consultant, is arrested in the Boston area for allegedly assaulting a transit authority worker while carrying an unlicensed, loaded weapon in a bag that also contained a bulletproof vest, mace, and a bottle of the drug Ecstasy. The bag also contained a diary calling for "taking a stand," as well as what police term "militia-style" writings. Police searching his apartment find a cache of neo-Nazi videos, a lead-lined carrying bag, handcuffs, leg irons, and assorted guns and knives. He is later also charged with six counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and other weapons related charges.

June 30, 1998, Wisconsin: Wisconsin militia leader Don Treloar is found guilty of impersonating a U.S. marshal during an incident in which he tried to serve bogus legal papers on an Internal Revenue Service agent.

 

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