Last Updated March 8, 2000
Calendar of Conspiracy, Volume 3, Number 4: A Chronology of Anti-Government Extremist Criminal Activity, October to December 1999
A Militia Watchdog Special Report
following is a chronology of some of the events surrounding anti-government
criminal activity in the United States during the fourth quarter of the year
1999. 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 and San Diego to remote rural areas in Washington and Texas.
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, committing tax-related crimes or 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-seven states but activity occurs
in every state in the country.
1, 1999, Florida: Lawrence Michael
Lombardi of Tallahassee, Florida, is arrested on suspicion of having committed
two bombings at the historically black Florida A&M University.
Lombardi, who admits to FBI agents that he was the one who called in
messages about the bombing filled with racial slurs, is arrested after police
are tipped off by callers who recognized Lombardi buying pipes on a hardware
store surveillance tape. Lombardi pleads not guilty to two charges of making an
unregistered weapon; prosecutors expect to file additional charges against him.
4, 1999, Florida: It is revealed
that white supremacist and World Church of the Creator member Jody Lee Mathis of
Ft. Lauderdale has pled guilty to federal charges of selling a stolen shotgun
and agreed to cooperate with officials investigating the World Church of the
Creator in Florida. Mathis is the
seventh local member of the organization to be found guilty of crimes including
armed robbery, assault and witness tampering.
All but one reached plea deals.
4, 1999, Arkansas, Washington, Ohio: In
Little Rock, Arkansas, convicted criminal Chevie Kehoe receives three life
sentences without parole for the murder of an Arkansas gun dealer, his wife and
their daughter as part of a conspiracy to create a white-only nation.
Prosecutors had asked for the death penalty.
6, 1999, Arkansas, Missouri: Missouri
authorities call in the FBI to aid in the search for an alleged Ku Klux Klan
recruiter, Gregory Owen Reid of Blytheville, Arkansas, wanted in a hit-and-run
accident involving a black girl. Reid
is wanted by Pemiscot County officials on a charge of leaving the scene of an
accident and by the FBI on a charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Witnesses claim that Reid intentionally hit the girl as she was playing with
friends on the edge of the road.
6, 1999, Florida: Six West Palm
Beach businessmen are indicted on federal charges related to a tax shelter
scheme. Tax protester John Philip
Ellis, Sr., is charged with conspiracy to obstruct and impede the Internal
Revenue Service, obstruction of justice, and structuring financial transactions
to avoid the reporting requirement. Five
others, Robert Koch, Sharon Alfonso, Mark Kennedy, Jeffrey Pollard and Edward
Riccardi, are charged with conspiracy to obstruct and impede the IRS in the
assessment and collection of taxes. The
six, acting as American Asset Protection, sold people common law trusts, a
common tax evasion scam.
6, 1999, Oklahoma, Arizona: Michael
Fortier, an associate of Timothy McVeigh, is sentenced to twelve years in prison
for not informing authorities of the plans to bomb the Murrah Federal Building
in Oklahoma City. Fortier
cooperated with authorities after being arrested following the April 19, 1995
7, 1999, California: Aryan Nations
members Thomas Allen Timney and Jeffrey Dale Dossett are arrested on suspicion
of having murdered Charles Boudreau of Riverside, California, kidnapped from his
home in late September. A third
suspect, Durlene Olivia Westfall, is still being sought.
7, 1999, Idaho: Tax protester Veral
Smith is convicted on charges of willfully failing to file income tax returns,
using fictitious financial instruments, failing to appear at a court-ordered
hearing, resisting arrest, and assaulting federal agents.
Among other actions, Smith had tried to use bogus sight drafts to pay
back taxes and to buy vehicles.
8, 1999, Michigan, Arizona: Richard
Van Hazel and Troy Coe, both from Phoenix, are arrested in Rochester Hills,
Michigan, and charged in the attempted kidnapping and murder of an accountant.
Van Hazel, a white supremacist with links to a wide number of extremist
groups, and convicted in 1987 of mailing death threats to IRS agents and an
African-American judge, and Coe impersonated U.S. marshals in order to kidnap an
accountant who gave testimony in an Arizona case involving a chiropractor
charged with income tax evasion. Authorities
believe the two planned to kill the accountant.
8, 1999, Texas, Arizona: A federal
judge orders Benjamin Franklin Cook jailed after Cook fails to appear for a
court hearing. Federal authorities
begin seeking the fugitive, thought to have defrauded investors out of around
$50 million. Cook claims the
federal government has no authority over him, as he is not a resident of
Washington, D.C. At this point,
though the case is still under investigation, Cook has not been charged with
criminal offenses related to the investment scheme, which appears to be a
prime bank investment scheme, a scam popular in Europe and gaining in
popularity in the United States. Three
others, Ellsworth Wayne McLaws, Alan Clagg, and Gerald Lee Pate, are defendants
in a Securities and Exchange Commission suit to stop the scheme.
14, 1999, Connecticut: Alfonso
Johnson is sentenced to five years in prison for helping a local white
supremacist group rob an apartment in Manchester, Connecticut. Interestingly, Johnson is African-American.
19, 1999, Florida: John J.
Drinkwater of Juno Beach, Florida, is indicted on charges of mail fraud, filing
false tax returns, corrupt interference with the IRS and bankruptcy fraud, for
allegedly attempting to pay various creditors with bogus comptrollers
warrants obtained from the Montana Freemen, as well as engaging in various
tax evasion strategies.
20, 1999, South Dakota: Meade
County resident Gene Curtis Ullman is charged with sending bogus legal documents
to threaten or harass Eighth Circuit Court Judge Warren Johnson and Magistrate
21, 1999, Colorado: Gerald W.
McKeel of Glenwood Springs is arrested after caught carrying a loaded pistol in
his backpack while at the Colorado Capitol building attempting to see Governor
Bill Owens. McKeel was a
self-declared sovereign citizen who was apparently involved in a legal
battle over rights to see his grandchildren.
21, 1999, Texas, Nevada, Arizona: Benjamin
Franklin Cook (see above) is arrested in the buffet line of a Las Vegas casino
and jailed for return to Texas.
24, 1999, Montana: Shad Greenup,
son of Montana militia leader Calvin Greenup of Darby, Montana, is arrested
following a high speed chase. Police
pulling Greenups truck over for a traffic violation discovered Greenup had an
outstanding warrant in Oregon, upon which point Greenup fled the scene.
He is charged with reckless driving, eluding pursuit, running red lights
and stop signs, and endangerment. In
1995, Greenup pled guilty to felony criminal endangerment for a confrontation
involving his father and law enforcement officers in Darby.
He pled guilty in 1996 to attacking his 17-year old wife.
20, 1999, Michigan: Militia leader
and shortwave broadcaster Mark Koernke of Webster Township is sentenced to 80
days in jail on one count of absconding and forfeiting bond, but will not have
to serve jail time, because he had already served that amount in jail; the
charge could have brought a maximum of four years in prison. Koernke had been arrested for allegedly assaulting a process
server (the charges were later dropped) but in May 1998 had fled rather than
make a court appearance. He was
caught in July 1998.
25, 1999, Illinois: Tax protester
and Posse Comitatus activist Joseph Komes of Lake in the Hills is sentenced to
30 months in probation for a state tax evasion conviction dating from 1996.
Komes declared himself a non-taxpayer in 1989.
Apparently Komes came to an arrangement with authorities to pay back
taxes he owed, although officials could not discuss details because of
25, 1999, Pennsylvania: Bowmansville
resident Howard E. Groff, former president of a profitable snack food company,
is sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for attempting to pay his $2.6
million income tax bill with a bogus check obtained from the Montana Freemen.
Groff had sent them a bogus check for $4.4 million and asked for a refund
of the excess amount; he also issued bogus checks to the Pennsylvania Department
of Revenue, to Lancaster County, and to two local banks.
Groff pled guilty to fraud in June.
26, 1999, Oregon: Roderick Kennedy
and Leslie Earl Bennett are arrested on aggravated murder and robbery charges in
Corvallis, Oregon. The two are
suspected of the murder of Enrique Sanchez, beaten to death on October 18.
Corrections officials confirm that Kennedy, a former prisoner, is covered
with white supremacist tattoos, including the word Hitler, a swastika, and
the term white pride.
27, 1999, Washington: Joann Kay
Peterson is arrested in Moyie Springs, Idaho, suspected of having killed her
son-in-law in 1991. Peterson, a
long-time anti-government activist, was found to possess a MAC-11 machine gun
when federal agents searched her home. Peter
L. Zeihen was murdered in 1991 at close range with a shotgun while he was
parking his car. Other suspects are
being investigated as well.
28, 1999, Washington: Richard Eldon
Peters of Spokane Valley, a convicted tax protester, is arrested at his home
after a three-count indictment is issued surrounding a home invasion and murder
in 1998. In June 1998 Clyde
Overdorff, who had testified against Peters at his trial, was in his home when
it was entered by Timothy Tyler and John L. Calvert.
The two shot Overdorff in the abdomen; Overdorff in turn killed Tyler.
Calvert is also indicted on three charges of retaliating against a
witness. Authorities claim that Peters recruited the two others to
31, 1999, Colorado, Utah: The
decomposed body of Alan Monte Pilon is found in remote southeastern Utah,
apparently having shot himself in the head.
Pilon is one of three fugitives who fled into the wilderness to evade
authorities after killing a police officer in Cortez, Colorado, in May 1998.
One fugitive killed himself shortly thereafter as authorities closed in
on his position; Pilon appears to have killed himself in the same time period.
The third fugitive, Jason Wayne McVean, may still be alive.
2, 1999, Connecticut: In Norfolk,
Connecticut, an attempt to firebomb the Congregation Beth El synagogue is
prevented when someone spotted the two men attempting the deed.
Two Molotov cocktails are recovered, but police are unable to make any
2, 1999, Arizona: In Kingman,
Arizona, Wayne Eugene Brashear is arrested for possession of chemicals and
equipment for manufacturing methamphetamine, and possession of weapons in a drug
offense. Police searching the
extremists home as part of an ongoing drug investigation discovered two and a
half pounds of C-4 explosive, a hand grenade, and other bomb-making materials,
as well as a number of guns.
4, 1999, Nebraska: Neo-Nazi Gary
Lauck, back in the United States after four years in prison in Germany for
spreading Neo-Nazi literature, is arrested on a charge that he lied about his
past on a gun permit application. Lauck
had answered no to a question asking about any conviction for a crime
punishable by one year or more in prison.
4, 1999, California: In Los
Angeles, white supremacist Randall Lee Rojas is convicted for a racially
motivated murder of a homeless black man in 1995.
Rojas, and two other co-defendants, are members of the Nazi Low Riders, a
white supremacist group that originated in prisons. Rojas is convicted of murder, committing a hate crime, acting
in concert with other attackers and personally using a deadly weapon.
According to the prosecution, one of the attackers wanted to kill the
victim in order to earn a lightning bolt tattoo.
4, 1999, North Carolina: Robert
David Guffey and son Anthony Ray Guffey, both of Rutherford County, are arrested
after police find homemade pipe bombs, stolen property, and drugs while
searching their house. Police also
find a collection of Ku Klux Klan material.
5, 1999, California: Nazi Low Rider
member Ritch Briant is convicted of first-degree murder for the slaying of a
homeless black man (see above). He
faces life in prison without parole.
5, 1999, Florida, Colorado: James
Kenneth Gluck is arrested in Tampa, Florida, for threatening Colorado judges.
Searching his home, police find the materials needed to make ricin, one
of the most deadly biological poisons known.
Gluck wrote a letter to a Colorado Court of appeals judge, threatening to
wage biological warfare on a county justice center.
He is held without bail on a charge of communicating threats against
9, 1999, California: Jessica
Colwell is convicted in Los Angeles of involuntary manslaughter for her role in
the murder of a homeless black man (see above).
Colwell was member of the Nazi Low Riders. In 1995 she was allegedly among a group of members who
threatened to blow up a Lancaster coffee shop for serving blacks.
10, 1999, Idaho: Six southern Idaho
residents are indicted on charges of using fictitious sight drafts in order to
pay debts and purchase vehicles. Charged
are Jerry Boone, Kathy Boone, Cindy Pahl, Lester Moffet, Jonathan Clapier and
Hyla Clapier. The six were engaging
in a popular extremist scheme sweeping the country in 1999 called variously
redemption or accept for value.
15, 1999, Tennessee: Rossville
police arrest John Clem after firefighters responding to a couch fire reported
seeing weapons in Clems apartment. Police
find grenades and a homemade sawed-off shotgun in his apartment.
Clem enjoyed setting off explosives, usually at a friends farm, and
before an explosion injured his hand in 1994, he reportedly wanted to join a
militia group. However, it is
unknown if he ever actually joined one.
18, 1999, Texas: Shawn Allen Berry
is convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison by a jury in Jasper,
Texas. Berry and two white
supremacists chained African-American James Byrd, Jr., to the back of a pickup
truck and dragged him to death in 1998. The
other two defendants, John William King and Lawrence Russell Brewer, were
convicted and sentenced to die in separate trials.
19, 1999, Florida: Former Florida
leader of the World Church of the Creator Jules Fettu is sentenced to five years
in prison for attacking a Cuban-American man and his son outside a rock concert
in 1997. The two had refused to
accept racist fliers that Fettu and other members were passing out.
22, 1999, California: Nazi Low
Rider member Ritch Briant is sentenced to life in prison without parole for
murdering a homeless black man (see above).
23, 1999, California: Nazi Low
Rider member Randall Lee Rojas is sentenced to life in prison without parole for
murdering a homeless black man (see above).
23, 1999, Indiana: Two teenagers,
Jason Powell, 19, and Alex Witmer, 18, are charged with murder in an allegedly
racially motivated drive-by shooting of a black teenager in Elkhart, Indiana.
The two confessed to police that Powell was seeking admission to the
Aryan Brotherhood, a prison gang, wanting to earn a spider web tattoo for
having killed a minority. Witmer, a
skinhead, claimed affiliation with the Aryan Brotherhood.
The victim, Sasezley Richardson, 19, was bringing diapers for his
girlfriends baby when he was shot in the head.
He died three days later.
24, 1999, California: Nazi Low
Rider member Jessica Colwell is sentenced to nine years in prison for her role
in the murder of a homeless black man (see above).
22, 1999, California: A jury finds
Blaine Applin, leader of a survivalist cultlike group in the San Diego area
known as the Gatekeepers, guilty of conspiracy, attempted murder of a peace
officer, assault with a semi-automatic weapon, auto theft and seventeen
1, 1999, California, Washington: A
federal grand jury hands down an indictment against white supremacist Buford
Furrow for his attack on a Jewish community center in August.
The 16-count indictment charges Furrow with one count of murder, six
counts of civil rights violations and nine weapons charges.
Furrow could potentially face the death penalty.
2, 1999, Colorado: In Pueblo,
Colorado, a jury deadlocks in a high-profile case involving a white supremacist,
Nathan Thill, who allegedly killed an immigrant at a bus stop in Denver because
he was black. Jurors agree that
Thill is guilty of attempted murder, assault and ethnic intimidationscharges
that could send him to prison for up to 38 years.
However, jurors cannot decide whether Thill was guilty of first or second
degree murder. Thills mental
health is a major issue during the trial. A
new trial is set for February 2000.
4, 1999, California: Two militia
members are arrested in Sacramento, charged with allegedly planning to blow up a
liquid propane storage complex in Sacramento County, apparently hoping the
government would declare martial law in response. The suspects, Kevin Ray Patterson and Charles Dennis Kiles,
reportedly members of the San Joaquin County Militia, are initially charged only
with numerous weapons violations. Kiles
was convicted in 1992 for possession of illegal weapons and silencers.
Pattersons activities including participating in surveillance
activities on the Yellowstone County Jail in Billings, Montana, in 1998, in what
authorities believe was a foiled attempt to help the Montana Freemen escape.
6, 1999, Nevada: Four white
supremacists are arrested in Reno, and warrants issued for two others, following
a firebombing of a Jewish synagogue. Arrested
are Christopher Hampton, Scott Hudson, Joshua Kudlacek and an unnamed juvenile
woman. Warrants are also out for
Daniel McIntosh and Carl DeAmicus. The suspects range in age from 17 to 39.
The synagogue, Temple Emanu El, had been attacked twice before in 1999,
although in apparently unrelated incidents.
7, 1999, Florida: Sixty-six year
old Wanza Webb receives three years in jail for tax evasion activities.
Webb, a tax protester who owed nearly $100,000 in back taxes and
penalties, helped teach an Orlando-area dentist how to evade taxes (albeit
unsuccessfully). Webbs son, Gene
Webb, is a former Longwood police officer who has also served time in prison for
tax protest activities.
7, 1999, California: The first
federal prosecution of a hate crime assault case in Orange County comes to an
end when white supremacist Kevin Timothy Dale, accused of taking part in the
beating of an Asian man in 1995, makes a plea agreement which will cause him to
face a maximum sentence of only ten years in prison.
8, 1999, Florida: Militia leader
Donald Beauregard is arrested on charges of plotting to rob National Guard
armories to steal explosives to blow up transmission towers and power lines.
Beauregard, leader of a militia group in Pinellas County and until
recently a leader of the militia umbrella group known as the Southeastern States
Alliance, faces a maximum of 55 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine if
convicted on all charges.
8, 1999, Nevada, California: White
supremacists Daniel McIntosh and Carl DeAmicis are arrested near Sacramento.
They are suspected of having been among six people who firebombed a
Jewish synagogue in Reno, Nevada (see above).
9, 1999, Connecticut: White
supremacist Scott Palmer of Meriden is arrested on charges of breach of peace,
threatening, intimidation based on bigotry or bias and having a weapon in a
motor vehicle after he shouted slurs and threats at a union member walking a
picket line outside a nursing home. Five
years ago Palmer received a probationary sentence for a similar incident.
10, 1999, Georgia: Militia activist
James Diver is arrested in Atlanta on weapons charges.
Diver, a convicted felon, was found in possession of three weapons,
including a semiautomatic assault rifle with a flash suppressor, a 12-gauge
shotgun and a semiautomatic handgun. Diver
had previously lived with Don Beauregard, the Florida militia leader arrested
earlier in the month (see above), but there was apparently no direct connection
between the arrests.
16, 1999, Pennsylvania: Ku Klux
Klan leader C. Edward Foster is charged with burning down his former residence
while he was out of state at a Klan rally.
Foster is charged with one count of arson, and a count each of
solicitation to commit arson and insurance fraud. The house was owned by Fosters ex-wife.
17, 1999, Florida: Orlando-area
dentist Milton McIlwain is sentenced to twenty-seven months in prison on
tax-related charges. McIlwain was
tutored in tax protest ideology by Wanda Webb (see above), and transferred more
than $1 million to bogus trusts in order to conceal his income and assets.
19, 1999, Colorado: White
supremacist Nathan Thill agrees to plead guilty to first-degree murder in the
death of an African immigrant (see above) in order to avoid the possibility of
the death penalty. A jury had
earlier deadlocked on the charge and a retrial was scheduled.
The next day he will be sentenced to life plus 32 years in prison.
19, 1999, Ohio: Dayton-area militia
leader Darrin Day is arrested after barricading himself in a bedroom of a house
he shared with his mother and brother. Day
reportedly had an argument with his mother and went for a firearm.
When police arrived he was barricaded in his room.
Eventually subdued, he is arrested and charged with two counts of
aggravated menacing and two counts of domestic violence.
22, 1999, Ohio, Florida: Batavia,
Ohio, resident Lynne R. Kirkman, 58, was arrested after found hiding in his
parents garage near Pensacola, Florida, on 19 counts of using sham legal
process, a charge designed to combat illegal sovereign citizen activities.
Kirkman repeatedly filed bogus liens on judges, prosecutors and other
officials after he was given a traffic citation.
26, 1999, Texas: Curtis Milton
Hartin and Joseph Grey are arrested by Texas state troopers in Anderson County
on charges of possessing illegal weapons, unlawfully carrying weapons, resisting
arrest and assault on a Texas peace officer.
After being stopped by police for a plate violation, they were found to
have a number of weapons in their car, including a Mini14, handguns, and assault
rifles. Grey allegedly tried to
grab a state troopers weapon; thus the assault charge.
The two are allegedly associated with anti-government activists near
28, 1999, Texas: American Airlines
mechanic Jere Wayne Haney is arraigned on a state charge of possession of
explosive components after a 50-pound bag of ammonium nitrate was found in his
Grapevine, Texas, apartment. Police
also find a fairly large quantity of white supremacist and anti-government
literature, as well as a dozen weapons and 62 boxes of ammunition.
30, 1999, Wyoming: A plea bargain
results in two consecutive life sentences with no chance for parole or appeal
for Aaron McKinney, convicted in the October 1998 slaying of gay college student
Matthew Shepard. Shepards
parents intercede in the sentencing, asking the court not to impose a death
penalty on the man who murdered their son, saying that they wanted to show mercy
to someone who refused to show any mercy. In April, Shepards other slayer, Russell Henderson, pled
guilty in a similar arrangement.
31, 1999, California: Sacramento
County sheriffs deputies arrest two white supremacists following the
discovery of a cache of pipe bombs. Arrested
are Gary Drake and Brian Hogan. Police
responding to a nuisance call found thirteen pipe bombs in the home of Drakes
father. Nearly ten years ago, both
men were convicted in a firebombing of a high school football stadium and a
building across the street from it. Drake
is reportedly a member of the Peckerwoods, a white supremacist group with prison
gang ties, while Hogan is suspected of being a follower of the group.
December 31, 1999: The world does not end as a result of the Y2K virus.