'Lone Wolves'

Proponent of silence may have talked too much

Alex Curtis has long lectured other white supremacists on the benefits of "lone wolf" violent resistance. Don't keep membership lists, don't go to rallies or meetings where you can be observed, and, should you decide to break the law, be sure not to tell anyone about it.

That way, the 25-year-old Californian who runs the racist E-zine Nationalist Observer figured, you won't get caught.

Maybe he should have taken his own advice. Curtis and alleged partner Michael Brian DaSilva were each indicted last November on several counts of conspiring to violate civil rights — and they may well face the testimony of two former confederates.

After pleading not guilty and being denied bail, Curtis was sent to a federal detention facility in San Diego to await trial.

The indictment alleges that the two plastered the office of U.S. Rep. Bob Filner with swastika stickers, put a snakeskin through his mail slot, and harassed civil rights activists by scrawling racist graffiti at their homes and offices.

Further, the pair allegedly delivered a dummy grenade to La Mesa, Calif., Mayor Art Madrid and defaced two San Diego County synagogues with swastikas. Federal laws prohibit damaging religious property, mailing threatening communications or interfering with housing or employment on the basis of race.

Each of the three charges against Curtis, who was identified in the Fall 1999 Intelligence Report as a key up-and-coming leader on the white supremacist scene, carries a possible 10-year sentence and $250,000 fine.

Curtis allegedly masterminded a "cell" of four people who plotted violence. Kevin Holland and Robert Morehouse — who police say was taped discussing plans to kill a local civil rights activist, burn a synagogue and shoot down an airplane — were charged earlier, and have already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate civil rights.

Prosecutors apparently expect to use testimony from the pair, who now await sentencing, against Curtis and DaSilva.

Curtis, whose parents have seemed to condone the hate shop he ran from their home, has said that he is a homebody with few friends. Maybe, though, this "lone wolf" had a few too many.