Illustration for article titled White Supremacist Group Arrested for Murder Plot, Found to Have More Targets in Mind Than Previously Known
Photo: From left: Luke Austin Lane, Jacob Kaderli and Michael Helterbrand (Floyd County Jail)

“Save Your Race Join the Base”

These are the words printed on a recruiting flyer for the Base — a white supremacist group of which three members were arrested earlier this year in connection to a plot to kill a Bartow County couple, overthrow the government and start a race war, according to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Now a new report says that the couple from Bartow County were not their only targets.

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The AJC reported on Friday that Michael John Helterbrand, 25, Jacob Kaderli, 19, and Luke Austin Lane, 21, had more targets in mind including local journalists.

Assistant District Attorney Emily Johnson identified Lane, of Silver Creek, Ga., as the ring-leader and recruiter or the neo-Nazi organization in Floyd County and she says that it was on his cellphone that she found evidence of additional targets which, not only included journalists, but also a fellow member of the group (Oh, what to do about all this white-on-white-crime?) and Lane’s own father. She said she also found instructions for making explosives and “untraceable weapons” on the 21-year-old’s phone.

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“This group does nothing but promote terrorism,” Johnson said. “Those are the type of people who need to remain in custody. Otherwise, our community simply will not be safe.”

According to Johnson, Lane had the whole “Make America White Again” starter pack complete with a Nazi flag and a copy of Adolf Hitler’s manifesto Mein Kampf which he kept at his bedside.

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Her report also mentions a fugitive and 4th member of the Base, Ryan Burchfield, who she says Lane housed until Burchfield left to fight in Ukraine for another white supremacist group called the “Right Sector.” According to Vice News, Ukraine currently serves as a training ground for right-wing extremists.

While most people reading this are probably thinking, “Thank God these terrorists have been taken off of the streets,” one of Lane’s attornys, Emily Matson, argued that none of the crimes he’s charged with constitute denying him bond.

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“Arguments made to detain him today prior to trial — prior to conviction — could be used to detain anyone for ideas and thoughts which you and I may find objectionable,” she said.

Lane’s father, Tom, also testified for his release on bond saying his son would be welcome to move back in with him if he were freed (whether he knew his son may have been planning to kill him is unclear). But before we get into that, let’s back up a bit with this from the AJC:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that other suspected white extremists traveled from Maryland to the Lane family’s rural compound south of Rome for paramilitary training. Among them was Patrik Mathews, a former member of the Canadian Army Reserves who fled Winnipeg, Manitoba, after a local journalist exposed his plans to establish a neo-Nazi cell there. Prosecutors have described the Lane property as a “regional training camp” for the Base.

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While being questioned by Johnson, Tom Lane said he was aware his son was a member of “some group. I didn’t know the name of it.” He testified that he recalled seeing various people visiting his property and even remembers saying to some of them, “You all don’t need to be doing anything to bring the FBI up here.” But he also testified that he wasn’t concerned about what his son was doing (strange, considering his “FBI” comment) and that he certainly didn’t know of any murder plots.

“I love my son today as much as I did when he was born,” he said, adding he would do whatever he could to help his son within the law.

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Fortunately, Floyd Superior Court Judge John Niedrach still denied Lane bond.

Lane has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and participating in a criminal gang. He currently remains in Floyd County Jail along with Helterbrand and Kaderli.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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