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

Feds: Teen Militia Leader in Nevada Planned ‘Mass Killings’

By Bill Morlin on October 12, 2012 - 3:13 pm, Posted in Antigovernment, Hate Crime, Militias

Authorities in Nevada may have just aborted another mass shooting with the arrest of an 18-year-old, self-professed militia leader who authorities say planned to “conduct mass killings” and “bragged about plans to shoot people on the Las Vegas strip.”

Steven Matthew Fernandes, who claimed to be a member of the Southern Nevada Militia, was arrested by FBI agents last month after three separate informants provided information about the teenager building and exploding bombs, amassing “an arsenal of weapons” and boasting of his killing prowess.

After a mass shooting spree at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater in July that left 12 people dead and 58 others injured, Fernandes boasted, “I’ll beat that record,’’ federal court documents say.

At the recommendation of federal prosecutors, he was ordered detained as a flight risk and danger to the community at a hearing Wednesday before a U.S. magistrate judge, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.

Fernandes is charged in a federal indictment with possessing and making unregistered firearms (bombs) and transporting explosive materials. Additional charges may be forthcoming, based on admissions the suspect made after he was arrested Sept. 13 outside a Radio Shack store in Las Vegas where he worked.

A loaded 10-round shotgun and additional ammunition were found in his car at the time of his arrest, according to a public court document filed by federal prosecutors and obtained by Hatewatch.

In the suspect’s bedroom in a Las Vegas home where he lived with his divorced mother and two younger sisters, agents recovered five rifles, four handguns and “thousands of rounds of ammunition,” along with a dangerous array of bomb-building materials and instructions, the document says. His mother had installed a dead bolt on the room, the document says.

“Fernandes manufactured, transported and exploded several bombs, and possessed material to make more,” documenting at least one of those test explosions on his iPhone, which he turned over to FBI agents, the document says.

Based on information Fernandes provided, agents subsequently located a rural site in Arizona where the young bomb-builder detonated at least three improvised explosive devices on Sept. 11.

The suspect “had numerous firearms of different types and thousands of rounds of ammunition (and) bragged about plans to shoot people on the Las Vegas strip, shoot people at his school and shoot preschool children and infants,” the document says.

Some of the teen’s familiarity with firearms, the court document says, came while he was a member of Boy Scout law enforcement “Explorer Post.” Fernandes, who claimed he had made at least 69 pipe bombs and discussed building poisonous gas chlorine bombs, used a “special purchasing code” from the high school he attended to buy restricted chemicals from suppliers, the document says.

Prosecutors further allege that Fernandes “made graphic and violent comments,” some of which were recorded, “regarding sexually assaulting women, killing babies, killing mass amount of Jewish people like Hitler and being voted the ‘most likely to show up to school and just start killing people.’”

FBI agents learned about Fernandes’ activities last January, when an informant turned over an E-mail, the document says. In it, Fernandes “described himself as the commanding officer (CO) of the 327th Nevada Militia, a.k.a. 327th Recon Unit, and referred to himself as First Sergeant Fernandes.”

Fernandes claimed he was a “Scout Sniper” for the militia unit and that he trained for long- and close-range shooting.

In the E-mail, the document says, Fernandes said the “327th Nevada Militia (327th) is currently comprised of six or seven members, with four or five of these members physically attending training.” It doesn’t disclose if agents with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force have subsequently identified or interviewed any other those other purported members of the militia cell.

Fernandes said each member of the militia unit has individual assignments but are cross-trained as part of a group that “aspires to be an urban type city or populated area survivalist unit.”

Fernandes claimed that he and his fellow militia members “conduct explosive disposal training in order to be ‘ready to go to war’ with the government or ‘some invading asshole country’ which may use explosives, explaining this is ‘why we train to kill and destroy our enemies,’” the document says.

His militia unit of “killers” was preparing for a “total social collapse” and planned to learn the underground tunnel system in Las Vegas, because “the surface might not be safe.”

In February, the court document further discloses, a second informant provided the FBI additional information about Fernandes, who “claims that he can walk into a restaurant filled with people and ‘kill anybody without a round count.’”

One of the FBI’s three informants in the case said Fernandes boasted that “he could fuck up this town so badly” with his militia unit because its members are well-trained and have “tons of material,” including satellite pictures. Fernandes said it was his goal to have 1,000 members in the Southern Nevada Militia before joining the U.S. Marine Corps this fall – something that didn’t happen.

At one point, the document says, Fernandes discussed a scenario “if someone ever wanted to cause some damage in Las Vegas.”

“He explained that an individual could go to the Bellagio (hotel and casino) and rent a room. According to the defendant, the rooms in the Bellagio are sound proofed so one could sit in the rooms all day long and shoot people on the Strip without anyone knowing where the bullets were coming from.”

  • Jake

    Ezra_Mead
    I know the guy the sketch is exactly what he looks like just less cartoonish. And he put the dead bolt on himself because the mothers new druggy husband kept stealing shit from his room.

  • Jake

    His dad left the family when he was young he has never had a father figure…probably part of the reason. I know because I went to school with him, he was my best friend. All he does is spout alot of shit. He really means no harm. Just wanted people to think he was dangerous. Well I think he got his wish. Personally I think he was a dumb ass and I tried to warn him, to no avail. I hope he learns a very hard learned lesson from this. And a lack of finding a job thereafter. Alot of people may not know this but his sister is actually jewish.

  • Peter Hockley

    Sorry to hear about the kitten Reynardine.
    Ezra, you sir or madam are a F**kwit!

  • Jim Staples

    Hmmmmm……What a sniviling little Waffen SS wanna-be “punk” – and I don’t mean Joey Ramone! – comes to mind!

  • Reynardine

    H like J: you can be convinced all you want, but though there may be agents in many of these groups, I doubt that these groups are acting on orders from “the gubmint”.

  • sueinca

    I would question why the mother put a dead bolt on his bedroom door? Was it to somehow protect his two younger siblings from the array of weapons in the room? If so, she should be charged with endangerment of children. The kid was free to roam, I would think that is just as dangerous as an accessible stockpile of weapons

  • http://depressionmymuse.wordpress.com hunglikejesus

    I am still under the firm belief that all these groups are infiltrated heavily and will do nothing unless the government okays it for whatever reason.

  • CM

    Starviego,

    You need to read a little more carefully. According to the Review-Journal, Fernandes “was scheduled to ship out with the U.S. Marines two days BEFORE his arrest.” (Emphasis added.) No details provided, but if he failed to show up for processing, he was technically AWOL.

    As for your “they got nuthin’,” re-read these statements above:

    “… agents recovered five rifles, four handguns and ‘thousands of rounds of ammunition … bomb-building materials and instructions ,,, Fernandes claimed he had made at least 69 pipe bombs and discussed building poisonous gas chlorine bombs …” etc. etc.

    No doubt you’ll just want to write this off either as government intrusion in the personal life of a normal, healthy teen or as the result of brainwashing of said teen by the government-controlled schools he attended. So either way, it’s the gubmint’s fault. That would strike a lot of people as a seriously irrational way of looking at the situation.

  • starviego

    So he had allegedly some unregistered weapons and built some big firecrackers. The fact he was going to join the marines in two days means it was all talk. They got nuthin’.

  • Reynardine

    Erika, if you crave a cat friend, get a Cornish Rex. They have little crimped poodle coats and are similarly hypoallergenic.

  • Mitch Beales

    Ezra you are a liar. Put up or shut up.

  • aadila

    It is nothing short of amazing that the right wing in America fails to associate this sort of crime with the proliferation of firearms.

    I would like to see stricter gun control laws and shut down all the gun shows immediately.

  • Erika

    Sad news about the kitten, Reynardine :(

    Kittens and cats are so cute and have such personality and intelligence, unfortunately i am allergic :(

    Ezra, bored with the Third Reich Room in Blue Ball again and looking for more abuse? You have stopped being cute a long time ago and have the personality and intelligence of a rock.

    Its way past due for a persona switch, honey. This one has gotten boring. Or better yet, find a girlfriend, move out of your mommy’s basement (or more likely trailer), get away from your Nazi skinhead friends, get your Hell Hittler, Whitte Powur, Natsi, Wite Peeple are subpeereor, and swastika tatoos* removed, and get a job – maybe even enroll in a GED program to actually get some education since you likely dropped out of ninth grade (or worse, was home “schooled” by White Nationalist Nazi parents).

    Otherwise, sweetie you will end up in prison or dead. Your skinhead and white nationalist “bretheren” will turn on you in a second once the heat is on – and you are totally deceiving yourself to think otherwise. You are breathing and not in prison so you still have a chance to get out.

    * mispellings intentional based upon the likely intelligence level of Ezra’s Neo-Nazi homies.

  • Kiwiwriter

    Reynardine, having had many pets, I am truly sorry for your loss…at least you made that cat’s last hours pleasant.

    Ezra/Jason/Annie…we’re eagerly awaiting proof of your latest idiocy.

    And if you say you don’t read what we write, why did you ask that 14-point question about our lives for those “profiles?” Shall I copy-and-paste them for you?

  • Ezra_Mead

    Mitch,

    The courtroom sketch you provided a link to is a fraud. It is cartoonish. Much as the OJ Simpson Time Magazine cover was ‘darkened’ in photoshop to make him look more menacing, and the initial photos of George Zimmerman from NBC were ‘lightened’ in photoshop to make him look more white.

    I have real photos of Fernandes. The courtroom sketch shows him with blonde hair. Not true. In profile the courtroom sketch shows the jaw to be non-prognathous. E.g. the angle from the eyebrow drawn down to the corner of the mouth, as viewed in profile. Also not true.

    In the real photos of Fernandes, cartoonish courtroom sketches, he has dark skin, a very wide nose, flaring nostrils, and a prognathous jaw. He is clearly not a European individual. Just wait a few days for more photos to be published. You will see quite clearly this is a Mestizo.

  • Reynardine

    Thank you, Adam. I truly appreciate that.

  • adamhill

    Rey, condolences on the cat, and good on you for caring for it in its last moments. I’ve come to believe that caring for lost, needy, injured animals is one of the noblest behaviors one can exhibit these days.

  • adamhill

    I wonder if Ezra is Hispanic.

  • Reynardine

    This is it. Ezra, send us your pictures or shut up. Now. Without time to visit a plastic surgeon. We’re not giving you time to pick your nose.

  • Mitch Beales

    “Only 9% of Mexicans are really pure Spanish, and I would classify as white Europeans.” What exactly is “pure” about the Spanish people? It is virtually certain that they intermingled with moors for centuries. They are much closer to the Atlas mountains than the Caucasus.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “The Left says “Hispanics” come in all races.”

    Actually history and linguistics says that. Indo-European speakers come in “all races” as well. Hispanic is the same as saying Anglophone or Francophone.

    ” The word “Hispanic” is a Marxist construct.”

    Really? Please tell us which Marxist invented this linguistic group.

    ” Only 9% of Mexicans are really pure Spanish, and I would classify as white Europeans.”

    And this is based on…..?

    Yet more stupid claims easily smacked down.

  • Reynardine

    A fairly typical blond Galician type. As usual, Ezra-sawdust made it up to suit his idea that this was a “non-white” Chicano.

  • Mitch Beales

    Either Ezra found a picture of the wrong Steven Matthew Fernandes or the Las Vegas Review-Journal hired a blind artist to do courtroom sketches. http://www.lvrj.com/news/judge.....50401.html

  • Reynardine

    Ezra, your mead has turned to vinegar, just like your brains. “Fernandes” is the Portuguese/Galician form of the name. And I’m a better physical anthropologist than you, so I’d sure like to see your picture(s).

  • supersonic250

    Ezra- Since I’m in the middle of art class at the moment (learning about abstract expressionism), I don’t have the luxury of being more tactful…

    You are an idiot, and we would all be very happy if you crawled off into the dark, dank hole that you made your home in, and died. Thank you and go away.

  • Reynardine

    Thank you, Gregory.

  • Ezra_Mead

    I found a picture of Steven Matthew Fernandes and he is clearly not white. If this article is trying to link Fernandes to some kind of “white supremacist” movement it is clearly wrong. I would call Fernandes a Spanish speaking Indian.

    Fernandes has brown skin, a sloping forehead, a wide nose, and is clearly not a European individual. He is short and squat with black hair and black eyes. His facial features are non-caucasian. He is what the left calls a “Hispanic”, which means he’s really an Indian. They are called “mestizos”. If Fernandes went to Spain, the people there would not recognize him as a Spanish individual. They would clearly recognize him as an Indian who happens to speak Spanish.

    The Left says “Hispanics” come in all races. The word “Hispanic” is a Marxist construct. Only 9% of Mexicans are really pure Spanish, and I would classify as white Europeans. The rest are either mestizo or Indians. The “mestizo” category runs an entire spectrum from someone who is 99% Indian and only 1% white, to someone who is 99% white and only 1% Indian.

  • Gregory

    Rey, you are a woman with priorities. The life of that kitten was far more important than anything happening here. Please accept my condolences and respect.

  • Reynardine

    Thank you, my friends, for your condolences.

  • aadila

    Rey,

    When the cloud takes shape it is easy to think it is a separate entity. We see it and experience it. But when it rains the water that comprises its form takes shape on the ground as rivers and oceans. This moisture nourishes the planet and enables it to thrive, and goes upward again to form clouds. The form may change, but it never ceases to be.

  • Aron

    Poor kitty :( But it least it had everything a kitten could possibly want — save for its mom — for the time it was in your care.

    How heartbreaking :(

  • Reynardine

    Awards may be a bit late, though many deserve them. I found a starving bush kitten and took care of it, but then it died. At least, though, it had food, shelter, petting, and love for twenty-four hours.

  • Kiwiwriter

    Talk about an overheated teenager….this guy is dangerous.

    The worst thing about him is that he was cheerily talking about killing little kids…there’s a horrific streak of sadism in his chatter.

    Where was his family in this? His teachers? His schoolmates? I’m hoping his family turned him in, rather than empowered him.

    Another thing is that this guy seems to spout a lot of talk about destruction, who he wants to kill, and what he wants to destroy. Nothing about what he’s FOR. Very nihilistic. A lot of would-be revolutionaries of that age define themselves purely in terms of what they are against.

    This is a very depressing and scary story…I’m glad he’s being locked up. I wonder if he’s bipolar? That seems to be a recurrent theme among these folks. One minute they’re committed to God’s Mission, next minute they’re down in the dumps.

    Odd that he chose the 327th…that was the number of the 101st Airborne Division’s glider regiment in WW2. It became a parachute regiment, and I think it’s still on the OB of the 101st Air Assault Division. Maybe he had rellies in that outfit in WW2, Vietnam, or one of the Persian Gulf wars.

  • https://twitter.com/MiddleAmericaMS MiddleAmericaMS

    Definitely a conservative & a militant.

    Congrats to the FBI on following-up.

    :(

  • Shadow Wolf

    His 6 or 7 members of his “boy scout” group, should also be arrested and charge with guilty by association of a domestic terrorist group.

  • Sam Molloy

    Maybe his mom was, reluctantly, one of the 3 unnamed
    Informants. If she was she deserves our support, that’s gotta be rough.

  • Reynardine

    Jim, his mother clearly knew there were firearms in the room, but the kind, quantity, legality, or for what purpose purchased she may not have known. She could be culpable, but maybe not. His sisters clearly are minors and had no say in the matter. Given the kind of things this boy said about women and infants, they may well have been terrified, or worse. Presumably, a workup is being done on the family.

  • Belinda

    I’ll bet you ANYTHING he was a Romney supporter!!!

  • Jim Allen

    I wonder if his Mother has been charged with abetting him. Also wonder about his two younger sisters. Also wonder where their Dad is. If his Mom was allowing all this to take place in Her home, I sure hope the two girls are taken from her. Sent to live with their Dad or with some responsible family.

    We all need to pray to our Good Father in Heaven for all of this family, especially the girls.

  • Reynardine

    A head case, and a dangerous one. He should have been intervened sooner, but at least they didn’t wait till it was too late.

  • Aron

    He thinks the surface won’t be safe? Obviously he’s never heard of CHUDs. None of us are safe.

    Ever.