From staff reports
Robert Neil Joos, 56, a self-professed white supremacist from McDonald County, is contending that a federal weapons case that has left him incarcerated since June violates his constitutional rights and is seeking damages totaling $200,000 per day he was incarcerated.
Joos was arrested June 24 and has been held without bond since on a federal charge of being a felon in possession of firearms.
Joos, in a handwritten “Notice and Demand” sent from jail last week, argued that his possession of firearms was secured by the Second Amendment. His possession of firearms and explosives, he wrote, is guaranteed by the 10th Amendment in that he was “exercising my right to exercise power over my environment (e.g.: protection, hunting, excavation and demolition, etc.)”
“Denial of my right to possession of explosives and firearms while allowing other citizens to possess same is a violation of equal protection of the law under U.S. Constitution,” Joos wrote.
Joos is also challenging the federal jurisdiction in the case and in addition to damages is demanding his immediate release and the return of all items taken from his 200-acre property earlier this year.
Joos was charged in June in a federal criminal complaint filed in Springfield with being a felon in possession of firearms.
A previous statement by Matt Whitworth, acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, said Joos’ 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 and led to federal charges against brothers Daniel and Dennis Mahon in the Arizona bombing.
A federal indictment issued in Arizona against the brothers charged them with conspiracy to damage buildings and property by means of explosives, and alleged 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 states, they observed different firearms and ammunition.
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.
Joos’ case is set for jury trial Jan. 11 in federal court.