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June 20, 2013 0

Former Border Vigilante Leader Arrested For Child Molestation

chris-simcox

Credit: Mari­copa County Sheriff’s Office

Phoenix, Ari­zona police offi­cers arrested once-prominent vig­i­lante leader Chris Sim­cox, 52, on June 19 on child molesta­tion charges.  Author­i­ties have charged Sim­cox with two counts of child molesta­tion, one count of attempted child molesta­tion, and two counts of sex­ual con­duct with a minor.  Accord­ing to police, Sim­cox had allegedly molested sev­eral vic­tims, all girls under 10 years of age, within recent months.

The arrest marked a new low for Sim­cox, who at one point in the mid-2000s achieved national noto­ri­ety for his high-profile vig­i­lante patrols along the Arizona-Mexico bor­der as one of the founders of the Min­ute­man Project.  How­ever, his fall from grace was just as rapid as his ascent.

Sim­cox spent his early adult years as a kinder­garten teacher in Cal­i­for­nia, before mov­ing to Tomb­stone, Ari­zona, where he bought a tiny news­pa­per, the Tomb­stone Tum­ble­weed, in 2002.  Sim­cox used the news­pa­per as an out­let for his anti-immigration views and soon issued a call for a “Cit­i­zens Bor­der Patrol Mili­tia” to patrol the bor­der with Mex­ico.  Sim­cox sub­se­quently started an early bor­der vig­i­lante group, Civil Home­land Defense.  By 2004, he had received pro­ba­tion and a fine fol­low­ing a con­vic­tion for car­ry­ing a firearm onto a national park.

In 2005, Sim­cox banded together with Cal­i­forn­ian Jim Gilchrist to form the Min­ute­man Project, a high-profile effort to get main­stream sup­port for bor­der vig­i­lante activ­i­ties.  In this, Sim­cox and Gilchrist were at first quite suc­cess­ful, gar­ner­ing national atten­tion and spawn­ing var­i­ous “Min­ute­man” groups across the coun­try.  For a brief period of time, Sim­cox could hob­nob with politi­cians such as Arnold Schwarzeneg­ger and Rick Perry. 

How­ever, Sim­cox and Gilchrist could not get along and parted ways, split­ting the Min­ute­man Project into two sep­a­rate orga­ni­za­tions.  Simcox’s half became the Min­ute­man Civil Defense Corps (MCDC) and focused on bor­der vig­i­lante activ­ity.  Because of Simcox’s lack of lead­er­ship skills, as well as finan­cial scan­dals, the group went into decline, shed­ding mem­bers and chap­ters.  In 2009, Sim­cox attempted a dif­fer­ent tac­tic, step­ping down from MCDC lead­er­ship and announc­ing he would attempt to unseat Ari­zona Sen­a­tor John McCain.  This was no more suc­cess­ful; by early 2010, he dropped out of the race.

The molesta­tion charges against Sim­cox are the first such crim­i­nal charges against him, but not the first alle­ga­tions against him related to chil­dren.  In 2005, Deb­o­rah Crews, one of Simcox’s ex-wives, told the South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter that in 1998 Sim­cox allegedly “tried to molest our daugh­ter when he was intox­i­cated.”  No charges were appar­ently filed.  A sec­ond ex-wife, Kim Dun­bar, filed a suc­cess­ful legal appeal for full cus­tody of their son.  She alleged that Sim­cox had vio­lent rages, includ­ing one inci­dent in which she said Sim­cox slapped his four-year-old son hard enough to leave a mark last­ing days.

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June 5, 2012 4

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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