The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

FBI: Ready was Focus of Terrorism Probe Before His Death

By Ryan Lenz on May 7, 2012 - 4:17 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Neo-Nazi

J.T. Ready, the infamous neo-Nazi and border vigilante who killed himself and four others last week in a suburban Phoenix home, was the subject of a federal criminal domestic terrorism investigation into activities on the border, an Arizona television station has reported.

James Turgal, the special agent in charge of the FBI office in Phoenix, told KPNX-TV that Ready had been under an investigation dating to his days as a swastika-wearing Nazi targeting ethnic groups. Turgal also confirmed that the FBI had looked at arresting Ready but was never able to develop enough evidence.

“He certainly … rode the edge of that dividing line between protected speech and criminal activity,” Turgal said.

Telephone messages seeking additional details on the case were left Monday with the FBI and the Gilbert Police Department.

Ready was notorious for his aggressive suggestions for violence on the border. He had talked about placing landmines on the U.S.-Mexico border where he and other armed vigilantes – he called them “Minutemen on steroids” – conducted patrols. He also called Adolf Hitler “a great white civil rights leader.”

It was Ready who recruited Jeffrey Harbin into the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM). Harbin pleaded guilty last year to making explosive devices to use on the border. When asked by a Phoenix television station at the time if he had known what Harbin was planning to do with the bombs, Ready said the reporter “would have to talk to the feds and see what their official statement is … but I will say that domestic terrorism is real.”

Perhaps not that surprisingly, his death has reignited scrutiny of vigilante groups operating on the border, especially in the wake of a separate shooting last month that left two migrants dead north of Tucson. The extremist anti-immigration right has also responded with renewed vigor and wildly contrived conspiracy theories seeking to answer the question: What really happened to Ready?

Veterans Today, an anti-Semitic website that bills itself as a “military veterans and foreign affairs journal,” reported yesterday that Ready was killed by a drug cartel hit squad – a theme that dominated much of the martyr-making stories being shared on the racist right. “He had become too big a threat to survive, a threat to the Mexican cartels, a threat to the Hells Angels and their control of the region’s methamphetamine business,” the report said.

Nothing police have said gives any weight to that claim. Instead, police believe that Ready was the lone shooter in last Wednesday’s mass murder-suicide that left five people dead: Ready; his girlfriend, Lisa Lynn Mederos, 47; her daughter, Amber Nieve Mederos, 23; Amber’s boyfriend, Jim Franklin Hiott; and Amber’s 15-month-old baby girl.

According to news reports, police seized four computers and military-grade munitions from Ready’s home in Gilbert, as well as two 55-gallon drums containing an unknown chemical. They also found correspondence and police and Nazi uniforms dating to the days when Ready was a proud member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) – a group he claimed to have quit in 2010.

Turgal said the FBI would continue to investigate the U.S. Border Guard, a group Ready founded and which conducted paramilitary operations on the border. The group has vowed to continue its patrols on the border, but visitors to the group’s website now see only a black screen with the message, “The website “” has been suspended indefinitely out of respect to the family and friends of the deceased. Thank you for understanding.”

  • Richard

    Ready’s rotten psychology and worldview ended up consuming him. Live by hate , die by it. When will the like ever learn?

  • Reynardine

    Welcome, Wolf.

  • Shadow Wolf

    Thanks Rey, I got it.

  • ModerateMike

    No matter how strong the evidence is that J.T. Ready was responsible for the murders, the people who are speculating about “what really happened” have already drawn the conclusion that he was not. Once a person develops this pattern of thinking, where new information is merely assimillated into one’s understanding of truth, dialog becomes impossible.

    It is good that SPLC continues to report on hate and extremism, countering assumptions and knee-jerk opinions with facts. But it is also important for each of us to work toward the goal of decreasing the number of hateful incidents that SPLC has to report on in the first place, and I still hold that teaching people from a young age how to shop for information is paramount in this regard; this is especially true in the era of the Internet and Fox News. Though I won’t give up on trying to change adult minds, even I have to admit that for some people, it is probably too late.

  • Reynardine
  • Reynardine

    Wolf, let me express my appreciation of your attention to the forensics of this case. Jason is merely an amusing crackpot (or committee thereof). There are, on the other hand, malicious fabricators out there intelligent enough to convince people. The facts you gave us are ammunition for shooting down their poison-gas balloons.

    Lies and liars may be expected to multiply. Without more, I will say that there are those out there who intend to sell us agendas that are not good for us, in pursuit of which they will falsify shamelessly and endlessly. An article posted at Loonwatch yesterday discusses one of the most dangerous in depth. I can’t get the link while in this app, but I’ll be back with it.

  • Shadow Wolf

    My bad, I forget to add in my previous comment. That there were 2 witnesses that points out to neo-Nazi J.T. Ready as the prime suspect. The first recorded 911 phone call came from Ready’s ex-girlfriend, who who stated in the short conversation that her “boyfriend” just came crashing in through her garage door. Distant shots were fired in the background moments before she was shot point blank.

    These recorded phone calls are rock solid proof that neo-Nazi J.T. Ready was the primary suspect. In what is described as a calculated cold blooded mass murder. It places a bullet into the falsehoods, killing the puny speculation doctored up by the lunatic fringe elements, who are blaming the “narco-terrorists from Mexico”.

  • Shadow Wolf

    Let’s not forget that the lone surviving Mederos family. The daughter, who made the 2nd 911 phone call, after the carnage is thus—a witness to the slaughter wrought on her by neo-Nazi J.T. Ready. News accounts today had released recorded conversations between the Mederos daughter and the 911 operator. In that conversation, she relayed to the operator that she heard “screaming and fighting” between neo-Nazi J.T. Ready and her mother, before shots rang out.

    Ready, who wore his NSM “black militia uniform” at the time of his cowardly demise. Is the suspected mass murderer.

  • Reynardine

    Wait for Jason’s next chenoviposition: Ready was murdered by us, and we killed his family and forged the note to make it look like Ready did it. In the alternative, Josef Stalin was cloned, and the clones did it (note: nothing is yet posted as I write)