The Blotter: July 2007

Updates on Extremism and the Law

Jan. 12
A federal jury in Fayetteville, Ark., convicted Hollis Wayne Fincher, the lieutenant commander of the Militia of Washington County, of owning illegal machine guns and a sawed-off shotgun. Fincher, 60, argued that the Second Amendment made gun control laws unconstitutional, but the court disagreed.

Jan. 22
Pistol-packing anti-immigrant activist Roy Warden, who specializes in burning Mexican flags, was sentenced to three years probation for pushing and threatening people outside the Mexican Consulate in Tucson, Ariz., in June 2006. The judge expressed wonder that local prosecutors didn't seek jail time for Warden, given that he had been videotaped threatening to shoot a child during the incident.

Jan. 29
Patrick Bearup, the son of a former high-ranking Maricopa County, Ariz., sheriff's official, was convicted of the torture-murder of a man he and other members of the Unit 88 skinhead crew suspected of stealing money. Bearup, who helped chop his still-living victim's finger off in order to steal a ring, threw the body of Mark Mathes off a cliff after Mathes was shot. Bearup was sentenced to death in February.

Jan. 30
Ingeborg Richter, the wife of a mob enforcer who served six months in prison for helping U.S. neo-Nazis organize a 1981 attempt to invade the Caribbean island of Dominica, was convicted in Canada of 30 counts of trafficking in guns she thought were going to gangsters. Husband Charles "Chuck" Yanover, who once planned to use Dominica as a gunrunning base, was already in prison on similar charges.

Feb. 8
Thomas Martin, a Hammerskin probationary member and former webmaster for White Revolution, was arrested with another man in Orlando, Fla., for allegedly planning to rob crack cocaine dealers. In a court hearing, it accidentally emerged that David Gletty, organizer of a 2006 National Socialist Movement march in Orlando, was a paid FBI informant who wore a wire to a meeting with the two suspects.

Feb. 17
A fourth man tied to the racist Aryan Circle prison gang was arrested and charged with the murder of Roland Dickinson, whose battered body was found in a ravine in Howard County, Texas, in January. Billy Wayne Haynes' arrest followed those of Christopher David Lovett, Kirk Douglas Flanary and John Michael Hays. Officials said that Hays had earlier confessed to his own role in the murder, which was allegedly carried out because Dickinson insulted a member of Hays' family.

March 1
A New York City jury convicted Steven Johnson, an unemployed man who shot and wounded three people and sprayed others with kerosene before threatening to set them afire, of attempted murder as a hate crime. Johnson, who reportedly had planned his anti-white June 2002 attack on a wine bar in Manhattan for two months, screamed during the rampage, "White people are going to burn tonight!"

March 9
Sentencing was delayed for Keith Gilbert, a Seattle neo-Nazi convicted in late 2006 of selling and possessing more than 70 illegal weapons. Gilbert already had served time for plotting to murder Martin Luther King Jr. during a 1965 speech; shooting a black teenager while spouting racial slurs; and trying to run over an adopted black child. In the 1970s, Gilbert was an aide to Aryan Nations chieftain Richard Butler.

March 22
Police arrested the second of two members of a Riverside, Calif., white supremacist gang called the Riverside Skins for allegedly murdering an acquaintance. Officials believe Darrin Agbara and Joseph Salem shot Michael Clearwater, who was a month away from beginning a prison sentence for a drug conviction, because they feared Clearwater was about to inform authorities about their own drug dealing.

March 27
The first of three men accused of a brutal anti-Indian assault in Farmington, N.M., in June 2006 pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping, armed robbery, conspiracy as a hate crime, and aggravated battery. John Winer, 18, could face up to 35 years when he is sentenced. Two other men, both 21, still face trial in the assault on William Blackie, which was featured in the Winter 2006 Intelligence Report.