Racist Leader Marcus Faella Arrested in Florida Terror Probe
The race war, he believed, was coming. So Florida white supremacist leader Marcus Faella instructed his followers over the past two years to prepare for it.
The preparations, according to law enforcement documents made public this week, included stockpiling weapons, experimenting with the creation of ricin and plotting some sort of “disturbance” on Orlando City Hall.
In a series of arrests that began on Friday, a joint terrorism task force that included the FBI and local police moved in on the Florida chapter of the white supremacist organization American Front.
They arrested Faella, his wife Patti Faella and eight other people on suspicion of a number of offenses, including hate crimes and training a paramilitary group. Prosecutors with the Ninth Circuit State Attorney’s Office said on Tuesday they were working on putting together felony charges for the 10 members.
An affidavit for Faella’s arrest said investigators were working with an informant in the organization since mid 2010. Agent Kelly Boaz, an investigator with the state attorney’s office, wrote that the unnamed informant started as an outsider but eventually became a “patched” or recognized member of American Front.
In the months since, the informant allegedly documented Faella, 39, becoming increasingly erratic and ordering his followers to commit crimes on the group’s behalf. The informant took secret photos and videos of Faella teaching certain members, including convicted felons, to shoot guns and prepare for a race war in a compound fortified with railroad timbers and cement pilings that he established on his property in Saint Cloud, Fla.
In mid February, investigators learned the group’s preparations were growing.
“Faella started planning to cause a disturbance at City Hall in Orlando, Florida,” the affidavit said. “Faella advised that the AF had been dormant too long and wanted to cause a disturbance so the media would report on it and bring new members to the AF.”
The document said Faella had been experimenting with making ricin, a poison, though it’s not clear whether he was successful in that effort.