Authorities say a white supremacist arrested last week near Olympia, Washington, may be part of a larger group of racists involved in a “number of violent crimes” in the Pacific Northwest.
Franklin G. Cole, 32, was arrested Thursday on Steamboat Island, north of Olympia, and later booked into the Thurston County Jail on charges of first-degree robbery while armed with a deadly weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm.
During his arrest, a task force of officers seized a loaded shotgun and other firearms, along with illegal drugs, the Olympian reported.
Cole’s criminal history includes more than 20 felony convictions since 2001. He also is wanted in Lewis County, south of Olympia, for pending charges of illegal possession of firearms, burglary and robbery, the newspaper reported.
He was arrested on charges stemming from a Dec. 29 incident during which a man was held at gunpoint and robbed in Thurston County.
An ensuing investigation tied that robbery suspect to “another criminal network” identified after the racially motivated stabbing of a mixed-race couple last August in Olympia, the newspaper reported.
Daniel B. Rowe, 32, was arrested on two counts of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and one count of malicious harassment for allegedly stabbing a 47-year-old black man and his 35-year-old white girlfriend, the newspaper reported. They both sustained non-life threatening injuries.
Rowe has white supremacist and Confederate flag tattoos, authorities told media outlets, without identifying a specific racist group. Rowe told police he was a member of a white supremacist group, who had taken a “blood oath” to fight on the street and was intent on attending a Donald Trump rally to counter Black Lives Matter protesters.
Olympia Police Lt. Sam Costello said the group of white supremacists is “not a huge organization,” but its loosely affiliated members “have been involved in a number of violent crimes regionally, not just in Olympia and Thurston County.”
The FBI is assisting with the investigation, the newspaper reported.