Indiana Militiamen Botch Bizarre Plot
Four members of the 14th Regiment of the Indiana State Militia are in jail after federal agents uncovered a bizarre scheme to allegedly sell drugs, murder one of the militia's own members, and attack with biological weapons a controversial play that portrays Jesus as gay.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) began to watch the 14th Regiment in 2000, when it received information that group members might try to use explosives against police who were planning to seize the tax-defying Indianapolis Baptist Temple after a long-running dispute.
After the church seizure ended without violence, undercover agents continued investigating the 14th Regiment, suspecting members financed assault weapons and militia activities by trafficking in marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines.
In June and July of this year, militia leader Fred Keuthan, 62, known as "Capt. Col. K.C. Hawk," was arrested twice for possession of cocaine and marijuana. After these arrests, authorities say, Keuthan became increasingly paranoid and aggressive, fantasizing about a violent showdown with police.
Convinced that 14th Regiment member Donald Mayo was informing on him, Keuthan allegedly hired a hit man to murder Mayo — a hit man who turned out to be an undercover agent.
As an alibi for the night of the murder, Keuthan also allegedly planned to stage and attend a heavily armed militia protest at the opening of the play "Corpus Christi," which portrays Jesus as gay.
Furthermore, an ATF official charged that Keuthan had trained militia members to cultivate biological toxins — E. Coli and botulism — and had ordered them to release these agents into the ventilation ducts of the theater.
Even this plan was doomed, however, because Keuthan had the wrong location for the theater, thinking it was in Bloomington when it was actually in Fort Wayne, 180 miles north.
On Aug. 10, police arrested Keuthan and his lieutenant, Dallas Fultz, 66, known as "Captain Smitty," and seized a cache of weapons from their homes. Later, Gary Mayo, son of the intended murder victim, and Michael Smoot, both members of the 14th Regiment, also were arrested.
They are being held on a variety of charges including conspiracy to commit murder, drug trafficking and possession of illegal weapons.
The arrests likely spell the end of the 14th Regiment of the Indiana State Militia, a group that once had as many as 25 members.