Cops set up fake Neo-Nazi biker gang to catch white supremacists training for a RACE WAR who ‘offered $1,000 bounty for murder of a black man’
By DAMIEN GAYLE
Police set up a neo-Nazi motorcycle gang to snare white supremacists and racist bikers, including one who allegedly offered a $1,000 reward to anyone willing to murder a black man.
After a five-year undercover investigation, prosecutors in Osceola County, Florida, believe they have been able to topple two domestic terrorism groups who were planning attacks on U.S. soil.
The probe – involving informants, hidden cameras and microphones, as well as undercover agents – revealed a subculture of neo-Nazi activists who were training and equipping themselves for a race war.
Fourteen members of a white supremacist group and five members of a racist biker gang have since been charged with offences ranging from drug trafficking to participating in paramilitary training.
‘The underlying aspect through all of it was that they were obtaining explosives and explosives expertise, and they intended to use them to kill people in the United States,’ Orange-Osceola State Attorney Lawson Lamar told the Orlando Sentinel.
The original investigation began in 2007, with an agent from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office trading emails with August Kreis III, a leader of the Aryan Nations hate group.
Once one of the country’s leading white-supremacist groups, the Aryan Nations, who believe the ‘white race’ to be an ‘endangered species’, had been in decline since 2004 after founder Richard Butler’s death and lawsuits by the Southern Poverty Law Centre which had depleted its funds.
Kreiss wanted to form a neo-Nazi biker club which would serve as the paramilitary arm of white supremacists across the U.S., according to records seen by the Sentinel. Following the email exchange, an undercover agent from Orange County became the Aryan Nations’ top Florida recruiter for what would become the 1st SS Kavallerie Brigade Motorcycle Division.
Early members of the gang included two undercover FBI agents, who used their knowledge of explosives to gain the trust of others, and a biker who allegedly offered $1,000 to anyone who shot a black man riding an ATV in rural Osceola County, according to records seen by the Sentinel.
Kreis came to central Florida in 2008 to meet his new followers after Brian Klose, a 6ft 6in enforcer with the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, became the Kavellerie Brigade’s new ‘fuhrer’.
The investigation into the group underway, the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force installed a range of bugs and hidden cameras into the Kavallerie Brigade’s clubhouse in St Cloud, Osceola County, allowing them to begin collecting the evidence they would use to snare any members suspected of illegal activity.
Unaware of the covert recording equipment tracking his every move, Klose warned members to be wary of anti-terrorist legislation like the post 9/11 Patriot Act, which gave police extensive surveillance powers, and to never admit their membership of the Kavallerie Brigade.
However, Klose never suspected that his own in-house explosives experts were in fact undercover agents and he asked them repeatedly to build bombs and hand grenades for planned attacks, records show.
And footage obtained from the many cameras concealed in the Kavallerie Brigade clubhouse enabled officers to gather the evidence to put together drug-trafficking charges to arrest members.
The investigation broadened in the spring of 2010 when central Florida’s Joint Terrorist Task Force began looking at the American Front, another white supremacist group rumoured to be conducting paramilitary training in Osceola County in preparation for a race war.
With no undercover officers inside that organisation, the investigation relied on a former drug dealer who had turned over to act as a confidential informant for the authorities.
By late summer 2010, he began hanging out at the 10-acre American Front compound in Holopaw, owned by the group’s alleged leader Marcus Faella, where he joined members shooting AK-47s at water-filled jugs which represented the heads of blacks and Jews.
Among a range of racist behaviour, the informant told how Faella traded a motorcycle for a plot of land where a young black man had been killed, burned and buried in 2010 in a racist murder unconnected to the American Front or its members.
Members of the gang used the murdered man’s desecrated grave as a urinal, records show.
The informant continued passing information to authorities until this May when, fearing his cover was blown and his life in danger, he dialled 911 while in a Melbourne cinema where he had gone with American Front members.
Arrests of 14 members of the group began then and continued through June. Following their arrests Mr Lamar and Kelly Boaz, an Orange County deputy sheriff assigned to the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation who was the lead agent in both investigations, both received death threats.
Almost all the 14 arrested members of the American Front were initially held in lieu of $500,000 bail on charges of participating in paramilitary training evidencing prejudice and planning to shoot into an unidentified building, according to the Sentinel.
The investigation into the Kavallerie Brigade continued until March 29 this year, but law-enforcement agencies have kept back much information about the group’s activities for the past two years. The FBI told the Sentinel it would not comment while cases remain in court.
While six people were initially arrested in connection with the case, charges against one were subsequently dropped. Three of the four remaining members arrested face bomb and drug-trafficking charges while would carry mandatory sentences of 25 years in prison if convicted.
The fourth Kavallerie Brigade arrestee faces bomb charges and a charge of solicitation to commit first-degree murder.
‘We decided to strike against the Kavallerie Brigade by bringing these heavy-duty drug charges to shut the active members down,’ Assistant State Attorney Steve Foster told the Sentinel.
‘We are going to remove them from the community,’ he added.
Pretrial hearings for some of the defendants in both cases begin this week.