From staff, AP reports
Robert Neil Joos, 56, a self-professed white supremacist from McDonald County, was charged Thursday in federal court with illegally possessing firearms, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
A search of Joos’ 200-acre property was the result of an investigation into a “retreat location in McDonald County used by white supremacists,” said Matt Whitworth, acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, in a statement.
Joos was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed in Springfield with being a felon in possession of firearms, Whitworth said.
Joos was arrested Thursday and remained in federal custody pending a detention hearing set for Monday.
The statement by Whitworth said the arrest stemmed from a federal investigation into a Feb. 26, 2004, bombing that injured Don Logan, the director of the diversity office for the city of Scottsdale, Ariz., who is a black man. Two others were injured in the attack.
The undercover investigation focused on several people involved in white-supremacist movements throughout the United States.
According to an affidavit by Special Agent Kevin Farnsworth, brothers Daniel and Dennis Mahon were identified as suspects in the Arizona bombing.
A federal indictment unsealed Thursday in Arizona charges the Mahons with conspiracy to damage buildings and property by means of explosives. The indictment also says the brothers intended to “promote racial discord” on behalf of the War Aryan Resistance.
Authorities who arrested the brothers at their home in Davis Junction, Ill., said they had assault weapons, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and white-supremacist material.
In 2005, according to the affidavit, the Mahon brothers told undercover investigators about a “retreat” location in Missouri that members of the “movement” used for survival training. It was occupied by Joos.
A confidential informant and two undercover agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives visited Joos at his McDonald County property on three occasions, in January 2008 and in January and February 2009. During those visits, the affidavit says, they observed different firearms and ammunition.
Joos is characterized in the affidavit as a “long-time white supremacist associate and an expert on weapons, explosives, bomb making and general survival skills.”
Joos allegedly told undercover operatives that he knew how to make napalm and agreed to train others, and that he used caves on his property for concealment and shelter. The caves were stockpiled with food, water and weapons, according to the affidavit.
Federal law makes it illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of firearms or ammunition.
Joos has a 1997 felony conviction for unlawful use of a weapon and a 2004 conviction for operating a motor vehicle without a valid license.
Joos at one point refused to get a driver’s license, saying during a court hearing in 2002 that it was against his religion, and that he could “make no covenant with the heathen government.”
Joos in 2004 led the Sacerdotal Church of David on a 200-acre farm near the community of Cyclone, between Powell and Pineville on Big Sugar Creek.
From staff, AP reports
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