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Documents: Neo-Nazi Murderer J.T. Ready Detained Immigrants in Desert

By Bill Morlin on June 22, 2012 - 2:59 pm, Posted in Neo-Nazi

J.T. Ready, the neo-Nazi border vigilante who killed himself and four others in a domestic dispute in May, was twice caught forcibly detaining immigrants in the Arizona desert last year, but federal prosecutors declined to bring charges against him, according to newly released documents.

The documents were posted online today by Talking Points Memo, which obtained them under the Freedom of Information Act. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix has declined comment.

“The new documents from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection paint a picture of some of the things that caused federal agents concern,” writes Nick R. Martin on the TPM Muckraker blog. “Ready not only routinely caused headaches for the real U.S. Border Patrol but also sparked some volatile and potentially dangerous situations.”

The U.S. Border Patrol referred reports of the two incidents to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix for possible prosecution. While no charges were brought, the FBI agent who heads the agency’s Phoenix office said after Ready’s death on May 2 that he had been under investigation for activities related to domestic terrorism.

In the first desert incident, on Feb. 26, 2011, Border Patrol agents responded to a call from Ready and found that “a suspected illegal alien had been flex cuffed behind his back,” the documents say. The immigrant told the agents that he and another man had become separated from a group of about 10 others. While one fled when he saw Ready and another member of Ready’s vigilante group, the U.S. Border Guard, the other man walked toward Ready “because he had no water and was tired. J.T. Ready and [redacted] told him in broken Spanish to get on the ground and he complied.”

The immigrant told authorities that even though Ready and his friend were armed, they never pointed their guns at him and that he never felt threatened or mistreated.

Nearly five months later, on July 17, 2001, Ready and about nine other members of his Border Guard – all wearing desert camouflage and armed with rifles – detained three immigrants. One of Ready’s men also had a pistol on his hip, and Ready had a dog that he claimed could detect marijuana.

The immigrants told Border Patrol agents that while they had not been handcuffed or had their hands restrained, two members of Ready’s group had “pointed their weapons at them during the initial encounter and told them to sit down,” the documents say. They also were told to empty their pockets. Ready turned over four grams of marijuana to the Border Patrol and said it came from the immigrants, a charge they denied.

Several other times, the documents show, Border Patrol agents responded to Ready’s reports that he had spotted suspected undocumented immigrants while patrolling in the desert. In one case, agents discovered “large bundles of suspected marijuana” after Ready reported two men on horseback wearing ski masks. The horses were found, but the men, apparently, were not.

In another incident, on Sept. 27, 2010, a U.S. citizen called the Border Patrol to say that he had encountered Ready while hiking in an area near Phoenix and that Ready had tried to recruit him to join the Border Guard. The man said he was reporting the incident “because JT Ready mentioned ‘killing’ and harming the illegal aliens,” the documents say. The information was given to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.

Ready was a former leader in the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement until he traded in his Nazi uniform for desert camouflage and formed the U.S. Border Guard, a militia-like group that conducted forays into the Arizona desert hoping to find and detain immigrants illegally entering the United States. Ready said his group hunted “narco-terrorists.”

On May 2, Ready killed himself after fatally shooting his girlfriend, her 19-year-old daughter, the daughter’s boyfriend and a 15-month-old baby girl in a home Ready shared with his girlfriend in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert. The daughter’s boyfriend was a member of Ready’s Border Guard. At the time of his murderous rampage, Ready was running for sheriff in Pinal County and was under investigation by the FBI for domestic terrorism-related activities. He also was a friend of Russell Pearce, a state legislator recalled by Arizona voters after sponsoring the state’s punishing anti-immigrant law, known as S.B. 1070.

  • Reynardine

    Johnny, you can either find a conversation that suits you better, or you can remain here and be entertaining.

  • Johnny B

    You guys are getting a little absurd now.

  • Aron

    Dan and Rey, while I do agree that Scalia is familiar with, but chooses to ignore the Constitution, his puppet Justice Thomas seems to be completely unburdened by that somewhat important knowledge.

    Also, his wife is a paid Tea Party activist. And I count myself among the many who demand that Clarence Thomas recuse himself from any decision in which his wife’s affiliation could pose a conflict.

    And these days, that’s A LOT of decisions.

  • Reynardine

    Dan, Scalia does, so, know what’s in the Constitution. He just doesn’t like it.

  • Leslie

    I am cynical enough to believe that when the construction industry rebounds that no one in Arizona’s legislature will care about enforcing immigration laws. The developers and contractors will still need cheap labor and they are the ones who pay for the senator’s campaigns.

  • Dan Zabetakis

    I’m looking forward to the SPLC’s analysis of the decision. For myself, I can’t see that having police check the immigration status of anyone they reasonably suspect as being illegal is a problem. But if the reasonable suspicion is based on skin color or speaking voice then they will have engaged in illegal discrimination.

    And I understand that Scalia has again showed he doesn’t know what is in the Constitution.

  • Shadow Wolf

    Meanwhile, back in Arizona. Our feeble sock puppet of a Gov. Jan Brewer is shouting at the rooftops claiming “victory”, over today’s ruling on SB1070.

    Rey, already cited the portions of which is to go into effect. While the other remaining 3 remains preemptive by federal law.

    I hardly see this as a given “victory”.

  • Reynardine

    The U.S. Supreme Court just struck down most of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law as a usurpation of the Supremacy Clause. The remaining portion- the right of police to question the status of persons stopped for other reasons if there is a reasonable suspicion they are engaged in activity involving illegal immigration- has been found constitutional on its face, but may be challenged in the future if the manner of enforcement is discriminatory.

  • Joseph

    Loki, so it’s okay for other people to hate but we can’t talk about it or brandish our weapons? When a bully gets punched in the nose his usual defense is to say, “He hit me!”

  • Sam Molloy

    I’m right with you, Aron.

  • Steven Yockey

    J.T. Ready’s vigilante group is symptomatic of endemic race hatred and a subculture of violence in Arizona. TEA Party members and sympathisers attend rallies at the State Capital, wearing sidearms. Ready’s people showed up at the first day of the occupation of Cesar Chavez Plaza, in Phoenix, brandishing AR-15s. His possession of contraband ordinance is common knowledge. The tension in this locale is palpable. This appears to ground zero for the confrontation between white supremacists and anyone who would oppose them.

  • Loki

    Such LOVE, such LOVE.

  • Shadow Wolf

    So in hindsight, neo-Nazi “baby killer” J.T. Ready was pretending to play Border Patrol on illegal border jumpers. While it may be a crime to falsely impersonate a law enforcement official elsewhere, but in Arizona’s Sonoran desert, it’s technically legal. But only after the Arizona legislature passed a Bill to create the citizens border militia group:

    Fortunately, the Bill is defeated for now but its support seems to be gaining momentum.

    Meanwhile, neo-Nazi Harry Hughes and the remaining white supremacists in his Border Guard group, continues to play soldier boy in the desert. Without having to worry about any legal direct action being taken by the local law enforcement or the federal government.

    Welcome to Aryan-zona. The Grand KKKanyon State

  • Dan Zabetakis

    Reyna has the main point. This Ready was obviously a dangerous fantasist. I would say it is likely that he has committed other murders.

  • Linnea

    Hmmm… can’t help but wonder if the “found drugs” were actually a set up on Ready’s part?

    I know I sound paranoid, but from what I’ve read about this guy, I wouldn’t have put anything past him.

  • Aron

    Four grams of marijuana? FOUR GRAMS? My God, JT Ready has foiled the crime of the century, ladies and gentlemen. Truly a shame that such a great man had to go crazy and kill himself and others.


    If I knew where it was, and had easy access to it, I would spit (and likely worse) on Ready’s grave.

  • Joseph

    Hate = Psychosis.

  • Reynardine

    I wonder how many unknowns lie buried in the desert.