A 49-year-old North Carolina man who allegedly dressed up in a Nazi uniform for his own brand of military training is being held in jail without bond after a judge ruled he was a danger to the community.
Mark Schmidt, previously convicted of illegally possessing a pipe bomb in a failed bank robbery scheme, was arrested July 24 in Marion, N.C., on a complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Additional charges likely will be sought by prosecutors when they seek a grand jury indictment.
Court documents disclose that the FBI developed its case against the cook and part-time bass player on July 22 when a “cooperating witness” told agents that the suspect owned numerous weapons and ammunition.
The informant told federal agents of seeing Schmidt “dressed in [a] Nazi uniform” while he conducted “military training” for hours on end in a wooded area near his parents home on Quail Hollow Drive in Marion. Because he was a felon, Schmidt stored his cache of weapons and ammunition at his parents’ home, near a barn-converted to an apartment where he lived.
“Schmidt has been infatuated with Nazi Germany for years,” the federal complaint alleges.
About two years ago, the complaint alleges, Schmidt told the informant “that he was so unhappy with the people at work that he had planned to kill them all” after making disparaging remarks about “lesbos, Jews and others groups.”
He stated that he had gotten dressed, had his guns ready and was headed to his motorcycle to go kill them when he became very ill and began to vomit.”
He saw that as a sign from God not to go through with his intended murderous rampage.
But in mid-July, he rekindled the same plan, telling the informant that he planned to shoot his co-workers. The informant saw Schmidt prepared three backpacks, one of them containing a German shovel, the court document says.
The informant also told FBI agents that Schmidt made statements “that he is getting ready to have a shooting with the ‘pigs’ and/or ‘feds,’” the documents allege.
The FBI sought an arrest warrant after a second informant, who owns a gun store, reported that Schmidt had bought 8mm and .303 British ammunition, and also was seeking 7.62 caliber ammunition.
At a detention hearing in Asheville last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis L. Howell ordered Schmidt held without bond, ruling he presented a “serious risk” to the public.
“A search of the home of defendant revealed large quantities of ammunition, multiple firearms, two bullet proof vests, black powder and ball bearings [which] … easily be used to construct destructive devices.,” the judge said in a written order. “These factors show by clear and convincing evidence that the release of the defendant would create a risk of harm or danger” to others.