The Blotter, Fall 2006
White supremacist Demetrius Van Crocker was convicted by a federal jury in Jackson, Tenn., of acquiring deadly sarin nerve gas and C-4 plastic explosives to destroy government buildings. Crocker, 40, who spoke in surveillance tapes of admiring Timothy McVeigh and using a helicopter to attack black neighborhoods, had been involved in neo-Nazi groups as a youth. He faces up to life in prison.
Rudy "Butch" Stanko, who was briefly chosen to succeed the leader of the neo-Nazi World Church of the Creator in 1990, was convicted in Nebraska of being a felon in possession of seven guns. Stanko had served a six-year sentence in the 1980s for selling millions of pounds of tainted meat to public schools nationwide.
Morris Gulett, a former principal in the white supremacist Church of the Sons of YHVH, was sentenced to six years in prison by a federal judge in Louisiana for planning an Alabama bank robbery. Charles Scott Thornton, a friend associated with the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations, was sentenced to five years in the same plot.
Kyle Brewster, one of three men sent to prison in the infamous 1988 murder of an Ethiopian student in Portland, Ore., was arrested for violating his parole by associating with members of the neo-Nazi group Volksfront after Anti-Defamation League officials found photos of Brewster and a friend on MySpace.com. State officials recommended that Brewster be returned to prison until 2008.
Maricopa County (Ariz.) Attorney Andrew Thomas announced the indictment of 42 members of a white supremacist gang he identified as the AZ 88 Boot Boys on weapons, gang and drug charges. Authorities arrested alleged leader Todd Streich and confiscated 32 pipe bombs, two grenades, machine guns and a massive, .50-caliber gun that one federal agent said was to be used to attack a police helicopter.
Police raided the home of Bobby and Donna Jean Hubbard in Coarsegold, Calif., and found evidence of his violating probation along with Klan robes, photos of the couple and their children sieg-heiling, and an array of weapons. Donna Hubbard, a health teacher, was later arrested at Duncan Polytechnical High School in front of her students and charged with a 2005 hate crime attack on a Jewish woman.
A man police suspect of being a member of the antigovernment Republic of Texas group shot himself in the chest after being pulled over for a traffic violation in Fort Worth, Texas. Harold Belmont Gray's death followed a short chase, a standoff and several hours of negotiations with police. Gray had been arrested the previous month for driving without a license.
Federal agents arrested anti-abortion zealot Robert F. Weiler at a Maryland highway rest stop after he called to confess a planned attack on a Washington, D.C.-area clinic. Officials confiscated a handgun that Weiler told them he intended to use on doctors and exploded a nail-packed pipe bomb he had stored at a friend's house. Weiler later was indicted on four federal weapons and explosives charges.
Three members of the Aryan Brotherhood allegedly stabbed to death a white longshoreman in Baytown, Texas, because they wanted parts from his 14-year-old truck for a gang leader's vehicle. In ensuing days, the three were arrested and charged with capital murder. Police also arrested eight other alleged members or associates of the gang and charged them with engaging in organized crime.
A plea agreement with 11th Hour Remnant Messenger co-founder Vincent Bertollini was announced in Sandpoint, Idaho, that would allow the racist financier to serve just six months for bail-jumping and a 2001 drunken driving arrest. But Bertollini, who also faces federal weapons charges, told a judge he wasn't sure he wanted to accept the deal. A hearing was scheduled for later in the summer.
Four members of a notorious Hispanic street gang known as Avenues went on trial on federal charges that they conspired over six years to terrorize and kill blacks in an effort to ethnically cleanse their territory in a Los Angeles neighborhood. The four, accused of the murders of three black men and a host of other crimes, were later convicted of a variety of charges and face mandatory life prison sentences.