Four North Georgia men charged in alleged covert militia plot.
Four North Georgia men, alleged members of a fringe militia group, on Tuesday were charged with trying to buy explosives and make a deadly toxin to use in attacks against federal law enforcement agencies and unidentified officials.
Federal authorities said the men had held clandestine militia meetings, beginning in March, in which they discussed using toxic agents and assassinations to undermine federal and state government.
The four men taken into federal custody were: Frederick Thomas, 73, of Cleveland; and Toccoa residents Dan Roberts, 67; Ray H. Adams, 65; and Samuel J. Crump, 68.
U.S. Attorney Sally Yates said that as the U.S. government focuses on terrorist threats by violent international extremists, “This case demonstrates that we must also remain vigilant in protecting our country from citizens within our borders who threaten our safety and security.”
Thomas, Roberts, Adams and others who attended the meetings discussed targeting various government officials, federal authorities said. The meetings were monitored by the FBI and secretly tape recorded by a confidential informant helping the FBI, according to sworn affidavits unsealed Tuesday.
Roberts’ wife, Margaret, 59, said last night that she was shocked by the day’s developments, which included FBI agents handcuffing her while they searched the rural Toccoa home she has shared with her husband for more than two decades.
“My husband would not hurt anybody and anybody who knows him knows he wouldn’t hurt anybody,” Margaret Roberts said, her voice trembling. “Dan has always respected the law. He’s never had a problem with the law.”
Thomas was described in affidavits as a leading speaker at the meetings. He discussed having a “bucket list” of government officials, business leaders and members of the media who needed to be “taken out” to “make the country right again,” the affidavit said.
Thomas also said he was a military veteran who had been to war and had taken a life, and said he could do it again, the affidavit said.
“There’s no way for us, as militiamen, to save this country, to save Georgia, without doing something that’s highly illegal: murder,” Thomas said during a meeting in March, according to the affidavit. "...When it comes to saving the Constitution, that means some people gotta die."
Dan Roberts said he knew people in Habersham County who had a substance that could kill people, the affidavit said, and the discussion next turned to ways to obtain castor beans. Castor beans are used to make ricin, a deadly toxin that can be fatal if inhaled or ingested.
During a September meeting, also secretly recorded, Crump said he wanted to make 10 pounds of ricin and disperse it in various U.S. cities, including Atlanta, the affidavits said. Crump said ricin could be blown from a car traveling on the interstates, the affidavit said. Adams is accused of trying to help Crump obtain ricin for use as a weapon, authorities said.
As recently as last week, Crump allegedly said he was going to begin shelling the castor beans, and Adams said he had a formula to make ricin and identified ways to get the necessary ingredients for it, the affidavits said.
Anybody ever heard of these guys?