'Neo-Nazi' group is raided

April 23, 1994|By Gary Gately V VTC | Gary Gately V VTC,Sun Staff Writer

Federal agents and police last night raided an East Baltimore apartment described as headquarters for a neo-Nazi hate group, seized four high-powered assault weapons and 2,000 rounds of ammunition and arrested three alleged leaders of the group.

More than 30 officers raided the second-floor apartment in a brick rowhouse in the 100 block of N. East Ave. about 6 p.m.,

minutes after police arrested two of the apartment's residents after stopping a car in which they were traveling on nearby Eastern Avenue.

The third suspect was arrested after police stopped his vehicle in an unspecified East Baltimore location.

All three suspects, two men and a woman, were taken to the Southeastern District and were being held last night at the Central District lockup.

A 23-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman, both of whom lived in the North East Avenue apartment, were expected to be charged with violating federal firearms laws, authorities said. A 21-year-old man, whose address was unavailable, was expected be charged with violating state firearms laws.

The raid netted two Colt AR-15 rifles, an M-1 Carbine rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and the ammunition, police said.

Authorities said an anonymous tip two weeks ago about "skinheads" and weapons at the house led to an investigation, the resulting arrests and the raid by officers armed with a federal search warrant.

Baltimore police Sgt. Andre Street said police believe members of the group had been buying and collecting assault weapons and ammunition in the apartment, where Nazi flags and pictures of Adolf Hitler covered walls and hate literature abounded.

Neighbors told police that members of the group, which calls itself the "American Resistance," had repeatedly fired weapons into the air, goose-stepped down the street shouting, "Heil, Hitler!," and threatened and harassed neighbors.

Since alleged members moved into the apartment in March 1993, more than 40 skinheads gathered at the apartment at least once a week and blasted heavy metal music, neighbors said.

"They didn't seem to like anybody, and they had a cause they were willing to die for, and that's scary," Sergeant Street said.

"Rather than have them getting a whole lot of weapons and have a repeat of Waco, we decided to take them out."

He was referring to the deaths of Branch Davidian cult leader David Koresh and 78 of his followers in a shootout and fire on April 19, 1993, in Waco, Texas.

The blaze ended a 51-day standoff between the Branch Davidians and federal agents.

As police sorted through evidence last night, longtime residents gathered near the familiar marble steps of the working-class neighborhood recalling the fear wrought by their bizarre neighbors.

Kathy Schultz stood with her 4-year-old daughter, Megan, and her 1-year-old son, Devin, and said the raid provided an answer to her prayers.

"Those people made me afraid to come out of my door or sit on my steps," she said. "I don't need it. I got kids. I want them to grow up, to live to grow up."

A few doors away, Sandy Miller, 44, recalled hearing the gunshots and seeing the skinheads terrorize her neighborhood.

"The guns, the guns, you couldn't walk out of your house with all these guns," Mrs. Miller said. "You can't get no peace of mind," she said.

The local group, which authorities believe has at least 40 members, is apparently a splinter organization of skinhead groups in Texas and Southern California, Sergeant Street said.

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