Documents: Neo-Nazi Murderer J.T. Ready Detained Immigrants in Desert
J.T. Ready, the neo-Nazi border vigilante who killed himself and four others in a domestic dispute in May, was twice caught forcibly detaining immigrants in the Arizona desert last year, but federal prosecutors declined to bring charges against him, according to newly released documents.
The documents were posted online today by Talking Points Memo, which obtained them under the Freedom of Information Act. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix has declined comment.
“The new documents from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection paint a picture of some of the things that caused federal agents concern,” writes Nick R. Martin on the TPM Muckraker blog. “Ready not only routinely caused headaches for the real U.S. Border Patrol but also sparked some volatile and potentially dangerous situations.”
The U.S. Border Patrol referred reports of the two incidents to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix for possible prosecution. While no charges were brought, the FBI agent who heads the agency’s Phoenix office said after Ready’s death on May 2 that he had been under investigation for activities related to domestic terrorism.
In the first desert incident, on Feb. 26, 2011, Border Patrol agents responded to a call from Ready and found that “a suspected illegal alien had been flex cuffed behind his back,” the documents say. The immigrant told the agents that he and another man had become separated from a group of about 10 others. While one fled when he saw Ready and another member of Ready’s vigilante group, the U.S. Border Guard, the other man walked toward Ready “because he had no water and was tired. J.T. Ready and [redacted] told him in broken Spanish to get on the ground and he complied.”
The immigrant told authorities that even though Ready and his friend were armed, they never pointed their guns at him and that he never felt threatened or mistreated.