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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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