Last Updated August 19, 1999
Calendar of Conspiracy, Volume 3, Number 1: A Chronology of Anti-Government Extremist Criminal Activity, January to March 1999
A Militia Watchdog Special Report
4, 1999, Texas: Tax protester and
anesthesiologist Pedro Ivan Rivera is sentenced to 37 months in prison and
ordered to pay over $400,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
Rivera, a “sovereign citizen” who claims that the court has no
authority over him and that IRS agents failed to show him a law that required
him to pay income taxes, is unrepentant.
5, 1999, California, Indiana: Fresno
County sheriff’s deputies arrest four representatives of an Indiana-based
group known as Constitutional Colleagues. Those
arrested include a deputy and a retired deputy.
They are charged with operating an illegal pyramid scheme.
7, 1999, Texas: Militia leader
Bradley Glover, architect of a plot to attack Fort Hood, Texas, on July 4, 1997,
because the U.S. Army was allegedly training “Red Chinese” soldiers there,
is sentenced to five years on weapons charges relating to the plot.
The scheme, for which six others were also arrested, was foiled by
undercover Missouri State Highway Patrol officers.
Glover also received an 18-month sentence in Kansas last July, also on
10, 1999, Oklahoma: A sealed
indictment from the Oklahoma grand jury investigating the April 19, 1995,
Oklahoma City bombing is opened. The
grand jury was created in order to explore the possibility that individuals
other than Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were involved in the bombing.
However, the single indictment is for David Hoffman, a right-wing
journalist and conspiracy theorist, on jury tampering charges.
Hoffman attempted to send copies of his book on the bombing, and
explanatory material, to influence the grand jurors.
13, 1999, Nebraska: Four York,
Nebraska, men plead no contest to charges related to their actions in a
racially-motivated disturbance in September 1998.
The four men were among 35 white men who marched on the home of a black
man living with a white woman. Marchers
yelled racial slurs, carried weapons and Confederate flags, and brought along a
13, 1999, Kansas: Mark Kline Drake
and Paula Christine Drake are charged with violating rules and regulations for
state-owned property and obstructing the legal process, as well as a criminal
threat count and, for Paula, battery against a law enforcement officer.
The Drakes are leaders of a group of “constitutionalists” who had,
under the rubric of the “Kansas Territorial Agricultural Society,” held
meetings in the statehouse even after ordered to leave.
Mark Drake, who claims to be the governor of Kansas, also distributed
fliers with a picture of the real governor, Bill Graves, with a hangman’s
noose around his neck and a caption that read, “Pro-Choice:
To hang or not to hang? That
is the choice.” It was the flier
which causes the criminal threat charge, but this charge is later dropped. The Drakes are the leaders of the “Christian Constitutional
15, 1999, Indiana, Arkansas: U.S.
Marshals arrest James Arthur Wallington in New Haven, Indiana, as he is picking
up his mail. Wallington, an
Arkansas native using the name “Samuel Green,” is in fact a former member of
The Order, a notorious white supremacist group that in the 1980s committed
armored car robberies, counterfeiting, and murder.
Wallington was arrested in 1985 on weapons charges, but fled before his
trial and eluded authorities for thirteen years.
15, 1999, Michigan: John Charles
Clark receives a sentence of life in prison without parole for his murder of
Traverse City, Michigan, police officer Sgt. Dennis Finch. Clark, who believed that Traverse City was the capitol of the
New World Order, was also upset over various gun laws, and shot Finch during a
confrontation at Clark’s house.
20, 1999, Maryland, Washington, D.C.: Walter
Wilson Johnson, of Capitol Heights, Maryland, is arrested during the impeachment
trial of President William Clinton by Capitol Police when an x-ray search of his
bag reveals an 18-inch knife and two M-60 firecracker-like devices.
Johnson’s bag also reveals survivalist materials, a Soldier of
Fortune magazine, and an article on the Oklahoma City bombing.
Johnson is jailed without bond on charges of carrying a dangerous weapon
and illegal explosives.
25, 1999, Ohio: A grand jury
indicts South Lebanon, Ohio, resident Larry Roten on two counts of intimidation
and four counts of using sham legal process for threatening to file a $5 million
lien against a Warren County prosecutor. Roten
is the leader of Hand to Hand Combat Ministries and is a member of the “common
law” movement in Ohio. Following
the indictment, Roten becomes a fugitive rather than face arrest; however, his
fugitive status does not stop him and his friends from continuing to file legal
25, 1999, Idaho: White supremacist
organization Aryan Nations is sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center in a civil
suit over an alleged assault on July 1998 by three Aryan Nations “security
guards” on a motorist and her son who had stopped in front of the Aryan
Nations compound to search for a wallet that had fallen out of their car.
26, 1999, Michigan: Randy Graham, a
member of the North American Militia in Kalamazoo, Michigan, is found guilty of
plotting to blow up federal properties and threatening to attack and murder
government officials. He is also
found guilty on drug charges. However,
the jury acquits him of charges of possessing illegal machine guns.
2, 1999, North Carolina: James M.
Anderson, of McGrady, North Carolina, is charged in the tire-iron beating of a
Ku Klux Klan member who wanted to leave the group. Four others charged received suspended jail sentences, while
charges against a sixth person were dropped.
2, 1999, Oregon: A federal jury
rules that a World Wide Web site which featured “wanted” posters for
abortion providers, as well as their addresses, was a direct threat and issues a
judgment of $107.9 million against the defendants. The fourteen defendants, including members of the American
Coalition of Life Activists and Advocates for Life Ministries, stated that they
would not pay.
3, 1999, Ohio: Three
Cincinnati-area residents, Edgar Bradley and his two sons, Edgar Bradley II and
Roy Bradley, are convicted on charges of conspiring to commit tax fraud by using
bogus trusts. The Bradleys refuse
to acknowledge that the U.S. government has the authority to collect income
3, 1999, Washington: Spokane
resident John James Hartz, Jr., is convicted on charges of threatening to kill a
Superior Court Judge in 1998. Hartz,
already serving time for convictions on assault and selling drugs, receives an 8
½ year sentence. Hartz, a
“constitutionalist,” refused to attend his trial, claiming that state and
federal courts violate “God’s law and natural law.”
5, 1999, Texas: Two members of the
“Republic of Texas,” a sovereign citizen-style extremist group, are
sentenced to more than 24 years in prison for their role in a biological weapons
case in Brownsville, Texas. The
two, as well as another person, came up with an elaborate scheme to kill
government employees, including President Bill Clinton, with cactus thorns
dipped in deadly substances. At
their trial, the jury acquitted them on most counts, but did find them guilty on
charges of sending threatening e-mails to the Internal Revenue Service and the
Drug Enforcement Agency. The third
defendant, Oliver Dean Emigh, had been acquitted on all counts, but Johnie Wise
and Jack Abbott Grebe are sentenced to 292 months in prison.
9, 1999, Arkansas: White
supremacist Kirby Kehoe pleads guilty to racketeering in connection with his
role in a group led by his son, Chevie Kehoe, to set up a white nation.
The younger Kehoe, as well as another man, Daniel Lee, face similar
charges in a complex case, but are alleged to have murdered an Arkansas family
in 1996 as well. The charge
to which Kehoe pleads states that his attempted to “identify targets of theft,
commit burglary, plan robbery, transport co-conspirators, conceal and dispose of
stolen property, and to move stolen property from state to state.”
Kehoe is already serving a more than four year prison sentence on weapons
10, 1999, Ohio: Tax protester
Salvatore Spine, Jr., pleads guilty to helping a Lancaster, Ohio, businessman
hide $1.5 million in income through various tax evasion schemes.
Spine had been a fugitive for 3 ½ years before being arrested in
November 1998 at his mother-in-law’s home in Prairie Township, Ohio.
11, 1999, Kansas: Peripatetic
Ronald A. A. Griesacker, active in extremist militia and common law groups in a
number of states, is sentenced to 57 months in prison without parole for nine
counts of bank fraud, one count of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to
commit fraud. Most of the charges
were related to his attempt to pass bogus “freeman” checks.
12, 1999, Florida: Jonathan
Strawder, a former employee of Greater Ministries International, an organization
based in Tampa, Florida, and suspected of running a huge pyramid scheme, reaches
a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in which he agrees to plead guilty to
one count of mail fraud and to cooperate with authorities.
13, 1999, Florida: Raymond Leone, a
member of the white supremacist organization World Church of the Creator, pleads
guilty to committing hate crimes against two individuals at a rock concert in
Miami, Florida, in 1997.
17, 1999, New Jersey: Four members
of a hate group/gang known as “The Crew” plead guilty to participating in a
conspiracy of hate crimes targeting blacks and Asians in Burlington County.
Eleven members of the group have been arrested for hate crimes.
The four who plead guilty are Ryan Kennedy, Timothy Reynolds, Mark Hilton
and Seiji Hashimoto, all in their lower twenties in age.
19, 1999, Utah: In the state’s
ongoing crackdown on the tax protest movement in Utah, tax protester Gary Tucker
is convicted of a second and third degree felonies in relation to his tax
evasion activities. Tucker, who had
agreed to cooperate with authorities, is given only a ten day sentence, four
years probation, and a criminal fine of $5,000.
23, 1999, Texas: John William King
is convicted by a Jasper, Texas, jury in the dragging death of James Byrd, Jr.
King, it was revealed during his trial, had hoped to use the incident to
help him start his own white supremacist group.
The murder of Byrd was one of the most spectacular and grisly hate crimes
in recent years.
22, 1999, Louisiana: Frank Palermo
is sentenced to twenty years in jail in the first hate crime trial in Louisiana.
Palermo had been convicted on two counts of a hate crime for attempting
to burn the cars of three black motorists, while a child was inside one of the
26, 1999, California: Tax protester
Marlene Marsh reaches a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in which she
admits that “untaxing,” which the group she had been involved with, the
Pilot Connection Society, had been selling as a way to avoid income taxes, was a
fraud. Marsh pleads guilty to mail
fraud and conspiracy and agrees to testify against other leaders of the group.
The prosecution of the Pilot Connection Society has been an affair
fraught with problems, with two separate federal court trials, each of which
with convictions that were overturned on appeal.
Marsh’s daughter and son-in-law earlier pled guilty to similar charges
and were given probation.
1, 1999, Arkansas: The trial of
Chevie Kehoe and Danny Lee on racketeering charges related to murders and
robberies committed in an attempt to set up an Aryan People’s Republic begins
in Little Rock, Arkansas. The
complicated case, which already has seen countless hearings and related trials,
is one of the most important extremist-related cases since the Oklahoma City
bombing in 1995. The trial is
expected to take months.
2, 1999, Pennsylvania: In a sign
that authorities are closing in on a group operating an alleged multimillion
dollar pyramid scheme, a Pennsylvania court fines Greater Ministries
International $6.4 million for having ignored an earlier ruling to stop
promoting its investment scheme. An
attorney for the Tampa, Florida, based group says that leader Gerald Payne will
not pay because doing so would violate “God’s law.”
3, 1999, South Carolina: Ku Klux
Klan member Clayton Edward Spires, Jr. is sentenced to 26 years in federal
prison for his role in a racially-motivated nightclub shooting in Lexington
4, 1999, Tennessee, Mississippi: County
authorities blast their way into the home of Bill and Carolyn Cockrell in
Southaven, Mississippi, while the Cockrells were off the property.
The couple had been involved in a twelve-year eminent domain battle with
local government, steadfastly refusing to leave despite various court orders and
attempts at settlement. In early
1997, the Mississippi Militia staged an armed intervention to cause authorities
to back down from an imminent eviction attempt.
This time, however, the effort came as a surprise and local militia
groups had no time to react. The
house is soon razed, but not before authorities find hundreds of thousands of
dollars in cash and over twenty weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
4, 1999, Alabama: Steven Eric
Mullins, an alleged “wannabe” skinhead and KKK admirer and Charles Monroe
Butler are charged with killing Billy Jack Gaither in Sylacauga, Alabama,
because Gaither was gay. The two
allegedly beat Gaither to death and set his body on fire.
10, 1999, Virginia: A grand jury
indicts twin brothers and white supremacists Kevin and Kalvin Hill on charges of
conspiring to incite a race war between whites and blacks.
The two brothers, residents of a Richmond suburb, had previously been
indicted on drug distribution and conspiracy charges.
12, 1999, Florida: Seven leaders of
Greater Ministries International, an organization suspected of having operated a
huge pyramid scheme, are arrested in Tampa, Florida on twenty counts of federal
fraud, conspiracy and money laundering charges.
Arrested are Gerald Payne, Betty Payne, Patrick Talbert, Haywood Eudon
Hall, David Whitfield, Andrew Krishak, and James Chambers.
12, 1999, Florida: White
supremacist Donald Hansard, Jr., receives a four and one-half year sentence for
his role in a robbery and beating at a video store in Fort Lauderdale in March
1998. Hansard and several others,
members of the World Church of the Creator, had targeted the owner of a video
store because he was Jewish. The
perpetrators, who all pled guilty, had discussed sending some of the proceeds of
their robbery to Church headquarters in Illinois.
13, 1999, North Carolina: An
abortion clinic in Asheville, North Carolina, is bombed, creating speculation
that extremist fugitive and alleged abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolph,
believed to be in hiding in North Carolina, may have committed the crime.
Authorities are initially skeptical.
15, 1999, Washington: Bonnie and
Russell Rosco, two Grant County tax protesters, receive a mild sentence of six
months of home detention and five years of probation for their conviction on
four counts of filing false tax returns. The
Roscos, who claimed to be “constitutional patriots,” asserted that their
income was “non-taxable compensation.”
15, 1999, Utah: Tax protester
Robert Daugherty pleads guilty to two felony tax evasion counts in a deal with
state authorities, who are waging what they call a successful crackdown on
nonfilers in Utah
16, 1999, Montana: Members of the
Montana Freemen receive sentences for their previous convictions on fraud and
robbery charges. Freemen leader
Leroy Schweitzer receives the longest sentence, over 22 years in jail, while
eight other members received sentences ranging from probation to fifteen years.
18, 1999, California: In Clovis,
California, Nicholas Fleming is convicted of trying to intimidate a federal
judge by filing bogus liens against the official. Fleming was irate because the judge refused to hear a lawsuit
he had filed on behalf of a fired police officer.
19, 1999, Florida: Dawn Witherspoon
is sentenced to 13 months in prison in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for her role in
a robbery and beating of a Jewish video store owner (see above).
20, 1999, Kansas: Two Wichita,
Kansas, residents plead guilty in federal court to violating federal hate crime
laws for their role in defacing a messianic Jewish synagogue.
Jake Fiel and Troy Philbrick face prison sentences of up to ten years.
Two days later, a third defendant, Jesse Maley, will also plead guilty;
the fourth defendant will stand trial in late March.
At least one of the four is believed to be the member of a known white
supremacist skinhead group.
22, 1999, Michigan: Militia member
Matthew Vinuya of Springfield, Michigan, is arrested on conspiracy, weapons and
accessory charges for his role in a plot by members of the North American
Militia to blow up federal property and threaten to assault and murder public
24, 1999, New Mexico: An
environmental group called the Forest Guardians receives a threatening letter
from a group identifying itself as the “Minutemen” just days after a pipe
bomb was left at their office. The
group had also been targeted for violence in 1998, when unknown assailants fired
a shotgun at the offices.
24, 1999, California: Two suspected
members of a white supremacist gang known as the Nazi Lowriders are arrested in
southern California on suspicion of assaulting a black Wal-Mart employee in the
store’s parking lot. Shaun
Broderick and Christopher Crawford allegedly attacked the employee with a hammer
after the employee asked Broderick’s girlfriend if they had gone to high
26, 1999, Montana, Kansas: A
western Montana couple are arrested in Kansas City, Kansas, on nine federal
charges related to tax evasion and filing harassing liens against IRS agents.
Marc and Cheryl Andra, associated with the Pilot Connection Society, a
well-known tax protest group, filed more than $18 million in liens against IRS
agents investigating their case.
27, 1999, Idaho: Former Aryan
Nations security chief Edward Jesse Warfield pleads guilty to an attack on a
woman and her son near the Aryan Nations compound in July 1998. Warfield had been charged with two counts of aggravated
assault, but is able to plead to an amended felony charge of aiding and abetting
29, 1999, North Carolina, Texas: Two
North Carolina Ku Klux Klan members are charged with attempted capital murder
after they exchanged gunshots with Texas police officers during a high-speed
chase near Austin, Texas. Arrested
are Jimmy Ray Shelton and Eddie Melvin Bradley, who ignored police attempts to
stop their speeding vehicle. Documents
in the vehicle identified Shelton as the Imperial Wizard of the Church of
Confederate Ghost Knights of the KKK.
31, 1999, California: Eugene
Contreras, Maria Vasquez-Gutierrez and Benny Hurtado, all Lancaster, California,
area residents, are arrested for weapons violations after authorities learned
that Contreras, a wanted parolee, were hiding out in a heavily armed location.
Deputies not only recovered firearms and drug-related paraphernalia, but
Aryan Nations propaganda and a photograph of Conteras with one of the suspects
of the Wal-Mart hate crime (see above). Contreras
is thought to be a member of the Nazi Low Riders, while the other two are
associated with a Latino gang from Los Angeles.
The connection is thought to be drug-related only.
The Nazi Low Riders originated as a prison gang but have expanded their
reach in southern California.
31, 1999, Kansas: A federal jury
convicts Kevin Barnes of one count of conspiracy to oppress, threaten and
intimidate Jews at a Wichita synagogue (see above).