United States / 08-05-2012
Officials arrest seven on hate crime, conspiracy charges
Osceola, FL - Officials in Osceola County arrested seven members of a white supremacist group on hate crime and criminal conspiracy charges.
The arrests were made after an investigation into the militia-styled American Front, which is an antisemitic organization that is known as a domestic terrorist group, according to the State Attorney's Office.
"This investigation is a result of our ongoing partnership with local law enforcement and federal agencies in a concentrated effort to stamp out hate crime in our community. The Ninth Circuit State Attorney will review the investigation and will file the appropriate criminal charges," said Ninth Circuit State Attorney Lawson Lamar.
Two of the group's top members, Marcus Faella, 39, and Patricia Faella, 36, were arrested Friday. Paul Jackson, 25, and Kent Mclellan, 22, were arrested Saturday, and Jennifer McGowan, 25, Mark McGowan, 29, and Diane Stevens, 28, were arrested Sunday.
Each of the people arrested are accused of paramilitary training, attempting to shoot into an occupied dwelling and having evidence of prejudices while committing an offense, according to the State Attorney.
Officials said paramilitary training is teaching and demonstrating to other people the use, application or making of a firearm which include techniques capable of causing injury or death.
All of the charges offenses are felonies, and the criminal charges will vary based on the severity of the crimes.
According to a news release the arrests were made after an investigation by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation and local law enforcement.
Little is known about the alleged crimes of those arrests because several of the arrest affidavits have been sealed until the last suspect is arrested.