A firearms and explosives expert suspected of involvement with two white supremacist brothers in the sending of a bomb to the office of a municipal diversity officer was sentenced to 6½ years in prison in Missouri on Tuesday.
Robert Joos Jr., an antigovernment zealot and pastor of a church of “apocalyptic Christians,” was convicted in January of being a felon in possession of firearms and a felon in possession of explosives. He had a prior conviction for unlawful use of a weapon.
Joos, 56, was indicted last year along with twin brothers Dennis and Daniel Mahon, following a lengthy investigation into the delivery of a mail bomb to the office of Scottsdale, Ariz., diversity officer Don Logan in 2004. Logan, who is black, needed extensive surgery for injuries to his hands and arms. His secretary suffered injuries to her face and eyes. The Mahons are awaiting trial.
Investigators began looking at Joos after phone records the morning of the bombing showed that the first telephone call that Dennis Mahon made after the attack was to a cell phone in Joos’ name. During the subsequent investigation, the brothers allegedly said that Joos’ 200-acre property in rural McDonald County, Mo., was used as a training facility for white supremacists.
Joos told undercover agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that he had caches of weapons, food and water in caves on his property where he would go to avoid capture or attack, authorities said. One undercover agent told Joos he was having trouble with “Kenites” — a word that is apparently used to denote Jews by some anti-Semitic Christian Identity pastors — and Joos mailed him instructions for making a homemade bomb, along with a detailed drawing, according to federal prosecutors. (Most Christian Identity adherents maintain that Eve had sex with Satan and produced a child, Cain, from whom Jews are descended.)
Five shotguns, five hunting rifles and five pistols were recovered from Joos’ property, along with more than 19,000 rounds of ammunition and bomb-making components such as fuses and blasting caps.