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June 5, 2012

May Not So Merry For White Supremacists

April ended with a shock to the racist world, as prominent Arizona white supremacist and border vigilante J.T. Ready fatally shot four people before turning his gun on himself.   White supremacists would not be given a chance to catch their breaths, however, as the month of May continued to serve them setback after setback.
Christopher Brooks of American Front
On the heels of the Ready murder-suicide came a high profile incident in Florida in early May, in which law enforcement officers rounded up almost the entire Florida contingent of the hardcore racist skinhead group American Front on weapons, paramilitary training, and hate crimes charges.  To date, authorities have made 14 arrests.  According to court documents, the group allegedly conducted paramilitary training to prepare for an “inevitable race war” and discussed possible acts of violence ranging from shooting at a house to attacking an anti-racist group.
This just set the stage for a wave of arrests and setbacks to the white supremacist movement in May, including:
  • In mid-May, Virginia neo-Nazi Bill White became a fugitive, announcing that he had “left the country,” though authorities think otherwise.  White, who had been released from prison in April, missed a re-sentencing court hearing and possibly feared he might be sent back to prison.
  • On May 19, anti-racist activists crashed a Chicago-area white supremacist event billed as an “economic summit,” attacking attendees and sending three to the hospital.  Police arrested five anti-racists on charges related to the attack.  Adding insult to injury, police also arrested two of the attendees of the white supremacist event—one for child pornography and the other for unlawful possession of weapons by a felon.
  • On May 30, Joliet resident Brian Moudry, a long-time Chicago-area white supremacist associated with the Creativity Movement, was arrested on federal arson and civil rights charges in connection with the 2007 arson of an African-American family’s house a few doors down from Moudry’s.
  • Also on May 30, agents from the Washington, D.C., Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Virginia white supremacist Douglas Howard Story for allegedly attempting to obtain a fully automatic AK-47.  Story had a track record of on-line comments about responding with violence to encounters with police and about how President Obama might be assassinated.

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May 7, 2012

American Front Members Arrested on Hate Crimes, Conspiracy Charges

Patricia Faella

Federal, state and local authorities arrested much of the core membership of the Florida contingent of the white supremacist American Front this past weekend on hate crimes and conspiracy charges.   The American Front is one of the oldest hardcore racist skinhead groups in the United States, with a membership concentrated primarily in northern California and central Florida.

At least seven people, all from the greater Orlando area in central Florida, have been arrested; additional arrests may ensue.  Members picked up so far include Marcus Faella, 39; Patricia Faella, 36; Mark McGowan, 29; Jennifer McGowan, 25; Diane Stevens, 28; Kent McLellan, 22; and Paul Jackson, 25.   The Faellas have played something of a leadership role within the American Front since the shooting death of its previous leader, David Lynch, in California in 2011.
Marcus Faella

Prosecutors have charged the Faellas and the McGowans with criminal conspiracy and a hate crime.  McGowan and his wife Jennifer have reportedly also been charged with illegal paramilitary training—providing firearms or explosives training with the intention of committing civil disorder. Diane Stevens was also charged with criminal conspiracy and committing a hate crime.   Charging details for the others arrested are not yet available, nor has the nature of the alleged conspiracy yet been made public.

A number of Florida American Front members have been involved in criminal activity.  It was only in 2010 that McLellan was sentenced to a year in prison after being convicted of vandalizing a local restaurant and church with white supremacist graffiti in 2008.   In May 2010, another Florida American Front member, Christopher Brooks of St. Cloud, pleaded guilty in Virginia for his role in a synagogue vandalism there in 2009.  That same year, Florida American Front member Richard Adam Stockdale served time for battery charges.

The American Front is one of a large number of hate groups with a presence in Florida.  It includes subgroups such as the Valkyrie Corps for female members and the American Patriot Brigade for new members, referred to as “probates.”

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