Neo-Nazi Financier Arrested in New Mexico

Christian Identity

Ten years ago, white supremacist millionaire Vincent Bertollini moved to Sandpoint, Idaho, because, he said, its population was "98% Adamic, white, Aryan people." Being on the lam for the last five years must have compromised his values. When arrested last April 12, he was living in Santa Fe, N.M., where over 50% of the population is Hispanic, mostly of Mexican descent.

Bertollini was taken into custody as "Richard Bert" -- the name on the check he was cashing when caught by FBI task force agents and that he also sometimes used in Idaho, where he owned properties under the moniker. In Santa Fe, where Bertollini has a daughter named Lauri Kosky, agents found nine firearms, including a sawed-off shotgun, in his truck. He's now facing up to 10 years in prison.

Bertollini had been on the run since skipping court on his third set of drunken driving charges in Sandpoint, where his 11th Hour Remnant Messenger group was headquartered. The group espoused Christian Identity theology -- including the notions that Jews are biologically satanic and people of color have no souls -- and was co-founded by Carl Story, a friend Bertollini got rich with in the early 1990s through the sale of their Systems Chemistry computer firm.

After moving with Story from California's Silicon Valley to Idaho, Bertollini became the leading financial supporter and public advocate for the late Richard Butler, founder and leader of the Aryan Nations until his death in late 2004. But the Aryan Nations and Butler lost a 2000 suit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center, forcing Butler to sell the Aryan Nations compound that long had been a key meeting place of the radical right.

Bertollini stood by his man. After the sale, he marched alongside Butler in a parade in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, telling the local newspaper that Butler was the "only man standing up for the white race in America that I know of, and doing it in a reasonable way." Bertollini also bought Butler a house in town.

At one point, Bertollini reportedly told FBI agents to leave alone "true patriots" like imprisoned white supremacist Alex Curtis, and concentrate instead on "Mexican terrorists" -- people, presumably, like his recent neighbors in Santa Fe.