A Texas man who got his kicks detaining and bullying unauthorized border-crossers on his own authority was himself taken into custody Oct. 20 and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Kevin Lyndel “K.C.” Massey III, self-declared “commander” of Camp LoneStar, one of several militia gatherings that sprung up along the Texas border as part of a misguided response to last summer’s wave of child refugees, caught the eye of federal authorities during an Aug. 29 encounter in which Border Patrol officers, pursuing a cluster of unauthorized border crossers, came upon Camp LoneStar participant John Frederick Foerster standing in the brush with a weapon. An agent fired four shots at Foerster, and missed. Foerster, who like Massey has been arrested as a felon in possession, surrendered, and Massey and another LoneStar participant showed up to vouch for him, carrying weapons.
Massey, 48, of Quinlan, Texas, was convicted of burglary in 1988 when he was 21, and is forbidden under federal law to carry a firearm. In addition to guns and ammunition, agents who searched his Brownsville-area hotel room found fuel and an ammo can full of “suspected” ammonium nitrate – a potential bomb in the making. Massey, in an E-mail exchange with the Intelligence Report, said the ammo can contained a completely legal explosive called Tannerite intended for use as target practice with long-range weapons.
“I am not a racist. Nor am I a member of any militia OR hate group. I love all Americans no matter their color or creed,” Massey wrote to the Report.
This sense of brotherly love, such as it is, seems to stop at the border. In a video he gloatingly posted on Facebook some weeks before his arrest, Massey and some companions detained three border crossers, handcuffed them with zip ties, and turned them over to Border Patrol.
Massey declared the encounter was “conducted in a humanitarian, professional fashion.” But that claim is belied by the fact that several participants in the camp decided to leave because of concerns about the operation’s legality.
“After the whole shooting thing, we figured out that some of them were felons,” Rob Chupp, an Indiana man who left Camp LoneStar not long after Foerster and Massey’s ill-fated encounter with Border Patrol, told the Report. “It just turned south, and we pulled out.”
Chupp might have seen the light, but others in the conspiracy-minded militia movement believe Massey’s arrest was part of a government plot to malign gun-loving Americans.
“These occurrences … should provide adequate warning to patriots, especially those who have a felony record, that there is a concerted effort on the part of government to find cause to bring charges against you and take your guns away,” wrote “Patriot” activist Gary Hunt.
A federal judge released Massey on $30,000 bond on condition that he surrender all weapons in his possession, wear an ankle monitor, refrain from consuming alcohol, and cut off contact with Camp LoneStar.