ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Our History

Extremist Group

Ku Klux Klan

The Crime and Investigation

In 1992, several Connecticut-based ethnic groups were the target of white supremacist violence and demonstrations. The fanatical white supremacists were also stockpiling assault weapons and bombs for a race war. A multi-agency task force of ATF, Connecticut State Police and several local police departments focused on William Dodge, the “Grand Dragon” of the Unified KKK. Undercover Agents infiltrated the group and obtained valuable intelligence about the use of straw purchasers to secretly obtain firearms, silencers and kits that converted conventional firearms into machine guns.

 

 

 

Klan Leader Pleads Guilty

The Arrest and Adjudication

The Ku Klux Klan investigation culminated with a reverse sting operation in 1994. When Grand Dragon William Dodge received delivery of pipe bombs and a handgun with a silencer, he was immediately arrested. Additional federal and state arrest and search warrants were simultaneously executed across the state. In the end, 10 individuals were arrested and convicted on a variety of fedral and state charges, including firearms, explosives, narcotics, hate crimes and conspiracy charges. Sentences ranged from six months to 63 months imprisonment.

 

 

North American Militia

The Crime and Investigation

In 1996, members of the North American Militia (NAM) devised a plot to spark a nationwide militia uprising by killing government officials and attacking government and infrastructure targets in Michigan. Members planned to finance their activities by robbing narcotics traffickers or engaging in narcotics distribution.

An undercover ATF agent infiltrated the group and learned it was making homemade C-4 explosives, stockpiling PVC pipe bombs and had acquired .50-caliber machineguns with 20,000 rounds of belted ammunition. Theoretically, when the war began, NAM member cells would receive coded messages instructing them to attack a particular target.

 

#3 Colt, CAR-15 Rifle: Similar to those used by militia members.


#4 Militia Patch: Insignia worn by members.


#5 Pipe Bomb (Inert): Similar to the devices constructed by militia members.

 

The Arrest and Adjudication

In 1997, ATF, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Michigan State Police executed federal search warrants on four NAM leaders, seizing numerous firearms, including machineguns, belted ammunition, a .50-caliber sniper rifle, bomb-making material and other incriminating evidence. Four defendants were later convicted for federal crimes involving firearms, possession of destructive devices, conspiracy and narcotics violations. Sentencing ranged from five years to 50 years imprisonment.