Last Updated September 4, 2000
Calendar of Conspiracy, Volume 4, Number 1: A Chronology of Anti-Government Extremist Criminal Activity, January to March 2000
A Militia Watchdog Special Report
The following is a chronology of some of the events surrounding anti-government criminal activity in the United States during the first quarter of the year 2000. 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 New York and Seattle to remote rural areas in Wyoming and North Carolina. 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, unless committed by members of extremist groups, 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 thirty-one states and the District of Columbia, but activity occurs in every state in the country.
January 2, 2000, Texas: Retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and Republic of Texas member Jerry Lynn Goode is arrested on a charge of aggravated assault of a public servant after a traffic stop incident in which Goode dragged an Arlington police officer. The officer, Jim Malloy, noticed Goode driving 83 miles an hour on I-20 with no license plate. Malloy stopped Goode, who grabbed Malloys hand and started driving again. Malloy eventually tumbled away from the vehicle; Goode was soon arrested.
January 2, 2000, California: Kevin Dale of Orange, California, pleads guilty to a hate crime (interfering with the rights of a person by assaulting him) following his attack on a person of Indian descent following a rock concert in 1995. Dale and about eleven other skinheads committed the beating while shouting racial slurs. Dale faces up to ten years in prison.
January 3, 2000, Tennessee: Nashville tax protester Rodney Lynn Randolph receives a four-year prison sentence on weapons charges. Randolph, whose house was foreclosed on in 1998 when he stopped paying on his bank loans, resisted an order to vacate the premises. A trespassing charge was filed against him; while searching his home, police found an arsenal of weapons that included a hand grenade, bomb-making materials, and automatic weapons parts, as well as blueprints for silencers, 200,000 rounds of ammunition, and a .50-caliber anti-tank weapon. Randolph claimed he was not subject to U.S. laws, but eventually pled guilty.
January 5, 2000, North Carolina: Retired demolitions expert and Ku Klux Klan leader E. H. Hennis receives a suspended sentence of eight to ten months and supervised probation for three years following his conviction on charges of using a fake bomb in a hoax. Hennis, who has had a long record of confrontations with authorities, appeared at an October 1998 Guilford County commissioners meeting with a fake bomb and told commissioners that: ''My way of getting you, you won't be carried off in stretchers. And I'm not making a threat, I'm just telling you facts. Your body parts can be picked up and put in a body bag.''
January 5, 2000, California: Sacramento bookseller Richard Finley is convicted on three counts of bank fraud, one count of submitting a false claim to the Internal Revenue Service, and one count of trying to obstruct the IRS for using bogus checks obtained from the Montana Freemen in 1995 to try to deposit more than $6.6 million in banks and to pay his IRS debts.
January 6, 2000, Arizona: High school student Matt Torres receives a six month jail sentence for a gang assault at a Taco Bell in Gilbert, Arizona. Torres is a member of the Devil Dogs, a white supremacist gang that has caused numerous problems in the area (see below). Two other gang members had previously been sentence for their role in the assault.
January 6, 2000, Utah: Moab resident and admitted white supremacist Jaric Robison is charged with aggravated assault intended to intimidate and terrorize his victims following an incident on December 31 in which he assaulted a mixed-race couple, yelling white power. Robison and another person had previously made death threats to the couple.
January 7, 2000, California: Orange County tax protester Fredrick C. Schuppert is indicted on charges of conspiring to impede the Internal Revenue Service and other charges. A second suspect, Timothy Jonathan Lundberg, remains at large. Schuppert, a leader of a group known as We the People, attempted to help Lundberg stop an IRS investigation by creating bogus letters from the IRS to send to people who had done business with him. Schuppert sells exodus papers that he claims will help people avoid paying income taxes.
January 7, 2000, Georgia: Dennis P. Adamson, a self-proclaimed Klan member from Ball Ground, Georgia, receives a one-year sentence following a hate crime conviction. Adamson used force and intimidation to try to convince a black neighbor to move out.
January 15, 2000, Alabama: White supremacist Chris Scott Gilliam is sentenced to ten years in prison without parole. Gilliam had earlier pled guilty to federal firearms charges stemming from the purchase of ten hand grenades. Following his arrest, authorities turned up a rifle with a silencer, bomb-making instructions, and National Alliance and other white supremacist literature. Supposedly Gilliam wanted to send the grenades as mail bombs to unspecified targets in Washington, D.C.
January 17, 2000, Pennsylvania: Ryan Wilson, leader of a white supremacist group known as Alpha HQ, is charged with violating the federal Fair Housing Act for posting death threats against fair housing advocate Bonnie Jouhari in 1998 on his Website. The site labeled Jouhari a race traitor and said she should be hanged.
January 19, 2000, California: A Hispanic woman in Hesperia, California, her boyfriend, and her two small children, are attacked by four members of the white supremacist Nazi Lowriders gang, who threaten to kill and rape the woman, then set the womans apartment on fire with a road flare. Police eventually arrest Michael Gold, David Vance, and two teenagers. Vance is charged with arson and two counts of making terrorist threats, while Gold is charged with two counts of making terrorist threats. The teenagers are not initially charged.
January 19, 2000, Texas. South Texan Brian Mark Kopatz is arrested in San Diego, Texas, following the shooting deaths of three people. Kopatz allegedly killed two people and injured three others in a bar shooting. He has also been linked to a separate shooting moments later at a nearby home which killed the wife of a county commissioner. Police allegedly removed ammunition and militia literature from Kopatzs apartment.
January 26, 2000, Mississippi: Tax protester David L. Smith of Madison, Mississippi, is sentenced to eighteen months in prison for evading over $1 million in taxes and penalties. Smith claims that he was desperate and got caught up in the tax protest movement; he has not, however, filed a timely tax return since 1981. He receives the maximum sentence allowable under sentencing guidelines, despite a plea bargain.
February 4, 2000, North Carolina: Edward L. Kotmair, a carpenter from Cary and a longtime tax protester, receives a three year prison sentence for failing to file federal returns for three separate years. Kotmair is the son of John B. Kotmair, leader of the Maryland-based Save-a-Patriot Fellowship, probably the largest tax protest organization in the country. John Kotmair has also spent time in prison.
February 7, 2000, California: Three southern California men are charged with burning a cross with the intent to terrorize, following an incident in which they allegedly threw a burning cross onto the driveway of an interracial couple in Shadow Hills in order to frighten them into moving away. Arrested for the incident are Christopher Fraley, Daniel Claxton and Justin Berkowitz. If convicted, they face up to seven years in prison.
February 7, 2000, Colorado: Five new charges are laid against skinhead Nathan Thill, already serving a life sentence plus 32 years for a shooting attack against a West African immigrant and a bystander in 1997. These new charges include three counts of second-degree assault stemming from three separate incidents in 1999 in which Thill allegedly attacked law enforcement and jail officers, as well as two charges of possession of prison contraband.
February 7, 2000, Arizona: Michael Spears, a member of the Gilbert, Arizona, white supremacist gang known as the Devil Dogs (see below), pleads guilty to felony assault charges stemming from a 1999 assault on a Mesa teenager. Spears is the seventh member of the gang to plead guilty; he faces up to three years in prison.
February 8, 2000, Utah: White supremacist Johnny Bangerter, former leader of the Army of Israel, as well as his wife, his brother, and another woman are arrested on drug charges for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Bangerter has been serving a 36-month probation term.
February 8, 2000, Florida: Several firefighters from Hallandale Beach are indicted on tax evasion charges after adopting tax protest arguments. Of seven firefighters identified as engaging in tax protest activities, three of them are indicted; investigators say there could be more arrests. Charged are Mark Neurohr, David G. Tracy and Johnny Leonard Powell.
February 8, 2000, Arkansas, Oklahoma: Arkansas resident Kenneth Destin Clark is arraigned in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on charges claiming that he passed nearly $250,000 in fictitious financial instruments in Oklahoma. Clark used bogus sight drafts (a tactic known in sovereign citizen circles as part of the redemption or accept for value scheme) to attempt to purchase various vehicles from Tulsa car dealerships and private individuals.
February 9, 2000, Wyoming: Judges in Fremont County request heightened security for their courthouse following an incident in which several Freemen threatened to harm a courthouse employee.
February 9, 2000, Georgia: A Cartersville, Georgia, couple, Walter and Barbara Andersen, and their son Troy are arrested on federal charges of possession of narcotics with intent to distribute, possession of firearms during the commission of a drug crime, and possession of unregistered silencers. Following the interception of a shipment of steroids to their house, officers searched the residence and found drugs, a large number of weapons and silencers, bomb-making materials, and white supremacist literature.
February 15, 2000, Wyoming, Texas, Nebraska: Charles Lannis Moses, Jr., is arrested in Wyoming following a three-day manhunt. Moses, described as a survivalist, as wanted for shooting two Nebraska police officers and killing a farmer in that state. He was caught near Lusk, Wyoming, when he gave himself up at a farmhouse. Moses was also wanted in Texas for violating probation and possessing explosives.
February 17, 2000, Idaho: Placerville residents Jerry Albert and Kathy Boone are convicted of trying to use bogus sight drafts (see above) to deposit in banks or pay off debts.
February 22, 2000, Ohio: Northeastern Ohio resident Richard A. Lewis is convicted of forgery and unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon, following an attempt to purchase eight Cadillacs with a bogus sight draft see above. Associate Joan Bowman is found guilty of possessing criminal tools but other charges against her are dismissed. The two are sovereign citizens who refuse to acknowledge the authority of the government over them.
February 24, 2000, Virginia: Tax protester Jeffrey Randall Breeden of Bedford County is indicted on charges that he helped more than twenty people file fraudulent tax returns, as well as obstructing the administration of the IRS code, tax evasion, bank fraud, and other charges. Breeden claimed that he was a Sovereign Citizen of the Virginia Republic and not subject to the laws of the United States.
February 24, 2000, Arizona: Salvatore Sammy the Bull Gravano, a former Mafia hit man who achieved celebrity for testifying against mob leader John Gotti, is arrested in Phoenix for financing an Ecstasy drug ring, as are 34 other people. The drug ring is connected to the white supremacist group known as the Devil Dogs, who reportedly were used by Gravano.
February 25, 2000, Montana: Tom Klock, former mayor of Cascade, Montana, is convicted of attempting to deposit $20 million in bogus money orders obtained from the Montana Freemen into the towns bank account. Klock was a Freeman sympathizer who wanted to change Cascade into a common law jurisdiction.
February 27, 2000, Indianapolis: Six men assault an Indianapolis-area resident for refusing to condone racism or give a Nazi salute, giving him a concussion and internal injuries. Arrested and charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery are Vernon Stanley, Gary W. Runge, Bryon Widner, Jonas Jackson, William B. James and Jeremy Huston. According to court documents, the men were at a party making remarks about white power supremacy, but the victim told them he found their views offensive. He was taken outside house and severely attacked. Police begin investigating a possible connection between the attackers and a white supremacist group known as the Knightstown Boys.
February 28, 2000, Texas: Extremist shortwave radio talk show host and former Michigan militia activist John Stadtmiller is arrested in Austin, Texas. After stopping him for speeding, police discover he has no drivers license and find an illegal handgun.
February 28, 2000, Kansas: Sovereign citizen activist Mark Kline Drake is arrested in Topeka, Kansas, after confronting the judge overseeing the trial of his wife on misdemeanor charges. Drake, who claims that he is the states lawful governor, approached the judge as he entered the courtroom with a homemade cease and desist order. Drake is charged with criminal trespassing and obstruction of legal process.
March 2, 2000, Pennsylvania: A federal judge rules that Ryan Wilson, leader of the white supremacist group known as Alpha HQ, based in Philadelphia, violated the Fair Housing Act by making death threats on the Internet against an advocate of fair housing.
March 2, 2000, North Carolina: Eddie Dewayne Carringer is arrested and charged with assault and attempted murder of a federal officer in the performance of his duties. Carringer allegedly in November 1998 fired on the Southeast Bomb Task Force command post in Andrews, North Carolina, that was searching for suspected bomber Eric Rudolph. Later indicted on the same charges is Wayne Henry Burchfield.
March 7, 2000, Michigan: Militia activist Mark Koernke of Dexter, Michigan, is arrested for leading police on a fifty-mile chase following a bank robbery. Koernkes car was parked outside a local bank while the bank was being robbed. Witnesses who saw Koernkes son get into the car thought that it was the bank robber leaving in a getaway car and pointed it out to police. Koernke, however, refused to stop for police, leading them on a lengthy chase, ending when he wrecked his car. Koernke then assaulted police officers attempting to arrest him. He is charged with fleeing and eluding police, assault with a car, and resisting and obstructing policecharges that could get him up to eleven years in prison. Had Koernke simply stopped when police tried to pull him over, there would have been no arrest. The robber escapes, but is arrested some weeks later.
March 8, 2000, Kansas: Fictitious First Lady Paula Drake is convicted in Topeka, Kansas, on misdemeanor charges of having an illegal meeting in the Statehouse in 1999, when she swore in her husband, Mark Kline Drake, as the true governor of Kansas. The Drakes belong to a common law court, the Supreme Court of Christian Jurisdiction, which does not recognize the government.
March 9, 2000, Florida: Don Beauregard, a leader of a militia group in Florida, pleads guilty to a conspiracy charge acknowledging he plotted to destroy facilities, support terrorists and use weapons illegally. In return, prosecutors will drop five additional counts against the militia leader.
March 9, 2000, Ohio: Union Township sovereign citizen Leonard Lutz is indicted on twenty charges of filing sham legal documents to retaliate against authorities who stopped him for traffic violations. He is charged with height counts of sham legal process and twelve counts of retaliation, which carry a total maximum sentence of sixty-eight years.
March 10, 2000, Florida: World Church of the Creator member Ray Leone receives a shortened six-year sentence and member Angela King receives a shortened eighteen-month sentence for their role in a 1998 beating of a video store in Hollywood, Florida patterned after the novel The Turner Diaries. The two receive shortened sentences because they testified against leaders of the group.
March 11, 2000, Idaho: Lester Marian Moffett and Cindy Pahl are convicted on charges related to trying to use a bogus sight draft (see above) to purchase used cars in Nampa, Idaho.
March 12, 2000, Washington: Police discover an arsenal of weapons as they arrest Stephen Ferguson in an eastern suburb of Seattle on weapons charges after a neighbor called 911 when seeing the man dragging an ill and unconscious housemate out of his house. Searching the house, they find more than 60 firearms, including 20 fully automatic weapons and machine guns, a grenade launcher, and 50,000 rounds of ammunition; they also discover marijuana plants, books on explosives, and Nazi paraphernalia.
March 13, 2000, Nevada: A 17-year-old girl is sentenced to the Nevada juvenile correctional facility after pleading guilty to first-degree arson, manufacturing an explosive device, and using an explosive device to damage property, in connection with a November 1998 firebombing of a synagogue in Reno. Six othersfive men and another female teenhave also been arrested.
March 15, 2000, New Mexico: Tularosa, New Mexico, police pull over a car with an invalid license plate belonging to Mark Allen Beall, apparently a sovereign citizen activist. Beall, who was holding a handgun in his lap, engages the officers in a firefight; 34 shots are fired but no one is hit. Beall then flees in his vehicle, but is eventually arrested and charged with two counts of assault with intent to commit a violent felony on a peace officer, one count of resisting a police officer, and one count of negligent use of a firearm.
March 17, 2000, California: Two white supremacist brothers, Benjamin Matthew and James Tyler Williams, are charged with setting fire to three synagogues and an abortion clinic in the summer of 1999, charges that carry up to 235 years with them. The two are already in jail awaiting trial on charges of murdering a gay couple.
March 17, 2000, Pennsylvania: Skinhead Keith James Pearce, Jr., of Norristown receives a life sentence for the 1999 murder of fellow skinhead Yohann Lee.
March 17, 2000, California, Nevada, Idaho: Three anti-government activists are arrested in Death Valley, California, following a standoff and gunfight. Arrested are Lloyd Burrus and Cheryl Maarteuse of Downey, Idaho, and Jeffrey Burns, of Emeryville, California. The incident began when a Nevada Highway Patrol officer stopped the three in their vehicle. The driver fired at the officer, then they fled. A Nye County, Nevada, sheriffs deputy tried to stop them, but was also fired upon. They then fired at a pursuing California Highway Patrol officer. Their vehicle got stuck in Death Valley National Park, so they left it for a fortified bunker, from which they shot down a California Highway Patrol helicopter. A standoff ensued, but they surrendered just before midnight. Searching their vehicle, police find a variety of weapons and ammunition, as well as reams of anti-government and anti-police literature. They face a variety of federal and state charges that include attempted murder of law enforcement officers.
March 20, 2000, Pennsylvania: Tax protester Lance Viola of Salford Township receives a five-month prison sentence for using tax protest tactics to evade paying $81,000 in income taxes. Viola eventually changed his mind after learning that he was being investigated by a federal grand jury and pled guilty. Unlike the majority of tax protesters, Viola admitted that he was wrong.
March 21, 2000, Ohio: Common law activists Richard Lewis and Susan Bowman are sentenced to probation (and house arrest for one year for Lewis) for their attempt to purchase eight Cadillacs using bogus sight drafts (see above). Compared to other recent cases on similar charges, this is a remarkably lenient sentence.
March 21, 2000, North Carolina: A mistrial is declared in the case of Peter Kay Stern, a sovereign citizen activist from Macon County charged with bank fraud, conspiring to defraud the government, attempting to interfere with internal revenue laws, threatening to kidnap a judge and using the mail to communicate threats. Sterns attorney, Gerald Aurillo, suffered something of a breakdown following the death of his wife in January, and exhibited uncontrollable crying spells. The case is rescheduled for the future.
March 21, 2000, Arizona: White supremacist gang leader Kevin Papa receives a two and one half year sentence for his role in disfiguring a teenager in a gang beating. The eighteen-year old high school student was the leader of the Gilbert, Arizona, Devil Dogs gang, and the first member of the gang to receive a prison sentence. Papa, his mother, and many other associates are also under arrest on charges that they were part of a drug ring controlled by Salvatore Gravano (see above).
March 22, 2000, Washington, D.C.: Anthony Premo is arrested at the Pentagon after claiming to be an Immigration and Naturalization Service agent at a traffic stop. Guns, black powder and books on booby traps are discovered in his car; police later search his hotel room and find more weapons, ammunition boxes, canisters of black powder, cannon fuse, fireworks, books about bombs and other items. When arrested, Premo was wearing a jacket bearing the emblem of the Hammerskins, the largest skinhead group in the United States. Ironically, Premo was going to begin work the next week as a Defense Protective Services police officer.
March 22, 2000, South Carolina, North Carolina: Johnny William Cabe of York, South Carolina, and Shelton Joel Shirley of Gastonia, North Carolina, are indicted on federal charges of wire fraud and money laundering for operating what is alleged to be a pyramid investment scheme that bilked $7 million from people who thought they were benefiting charities while making lucrative investments. The two, who are ministers, called the scheme Hisway International Ministries; it appears to have been a classic prime bank scheme, popular among con artists. Federal investigators say it is connected to other similar scams such as the Florida-based Greater Ministries scam.
March 23, 2000, Utah: The IRS office in Ogden, Utah, receives an envelope filled with a coarse powder and according to local news stations also a threat. Seven people must go to the hospital to be examined after being exposed to the powder.
March 24, 2000, Nevada: An amended indictment is filed by a federal grand jury against five skinheads accused of attempting to firebomb a Reno synagogue. In addition to the bomb charges already filed against Scott Hudson, Christopher Hampton, Carl DeAmicis, Daniel McIntosh and Joshua Kudlacek, two more charges are added: conspiracy against the rights of citizens and damage to religious property.
March 27, 2000, California: Nazi Low Rider member Anthony Conrad is sentenced to seven years in prison following a conviction on hate crime and assault charges for an attack on a black woman in 1999.
March 28, 2000, South Carolina: Militia member Paul T. Chastain, Jr., of Greenville County, South Carolina, is sentenced to fifteen years in prison following a guilty plea of threatening to murder Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis Freeh. He also pled guilty to various drug related charges and possession of a machine gun. He was arrested in 1998 for trying to trade drugs for explosives and weapons.
March 28, 2000, Wisconsin: In two separate incidents in Ozaukee and Washington Counties, two sovereign citizens are charged with filing bogus common law documents. Ralph Edward Wirkus is charged with six counts of simulating criminal process for issuing phony criminal complaints against judges and other officials, while John Titus Dolk is charged with two counts of simulating legal process for similar documents.
March 29, 2000, New Mexico: Skinhead Michael DiChiora pleads guilty to a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy to tamper with evidence. DiChiora and five other defendants were indicted on fourteen counts, including attempted murder, in the beating of an Albuquerque man. Prosecutors alleged that DiChiora was not involved in the beating, but encouraged others to get rid of incriminating evidence.
March 30, 2000, New York: Police arrest Michael Sagginario after a search of his home in Queens turns up an assault rifle, silencers, ammunition, a bomb-making book, and a variety of white supremacist literature, including the National Alliance Hand Book and audio tapes of The Turner Diaries. Sagginario, a convicted felon, is charged with criminal weapons possession.
March 31, 2000, Maryland: During a narcotics raid on the house of Michael Lee Burtner, a pizza restaurant owner, police find 128 guns (including stolen and unregistered weapons), 38,000 rounds of ammunition, drugs, and a variety of antigovernment videotapes and pamphlets. Police suspected Burtner of selling crack cocaine.