ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here

Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Wayde Lynn Kurt

Man arraigned on racist fraud allegation

A man already facing up to 10 years in prison for a gun conviction pleaded not guilty today to identity theft charges that prosecutors say were part of a white supremacist-related terrorist plot.

Wayde Lynn Kurt, 53, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of aggravated identity theft, two counts of unlawful production of an identification card, two counts of unlawful possession of an identification card and one count of making a false statement. The last charge is related to Kurt allegedly using a fake identity to obtain a Post Office box.

He was arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Imbrogno in Spokane and is in custody at the Spokane County Jail without bail.

Kurt was arrested in August 2010 for being a felon in possession of a firearm for  five firearms he possessed while target shooting with a white supremacist, David Johnathan Udseth, who was secretly recording him for the FBI. A jury convicted Kurt last month. He denies being a racist and old jurors he spoke of a racist plan with Udseth only to infiltrate the group because its members had assaulted a friend, and he wanted to monitor them.

Prosecutors say Kurt said he was producing fraudulent identification cards for a “task” for which he had been preparing for years.

Kurt said “he would need 30 days to establish a new identity, noting the name 'Wayde Kurt would only a bring a bad reputation to a publicly exposed political movement,'” according to court documents.

FBI: Indicted racist had terrorism plans

A reputed white supremacist convicted last month of a gun charge related to an alleged domestic terrorism plot has been indicted by a grand jury for an alleged identity theft scheme.

Wayde Lynn Kurt, 53, is accused of producing fraudulent identification cards for a “task” for which he had been preparing for years, according to a briefing federal prosecutors wrote for his gun trial last month.

Kurt likened the plan to the Oklahoma City bombing and said he would do everything in his power to stop President Obama from being reelected, prosecutors say.

Kurt said “he didn't want innocent people to die but it was possible they would die,” according to the briefing. Kurt “stated that it would be an act of terrorism of the worst kind and would mean a death sentence if he was caught.”

Kurt wrote a letter to an FBI informant in May 2010 discussing the need to establish a white government based on the gold or silver standard, prosecutors say.

“Kurt also wrote that he would need 30 days to establish a new identity, noting the name 'Wayde Kurt would only bring a bad reputation to a publicly exposed political movement,'” according to the trial briefing.

A jury in U.S. District Court in Spokane convicted Kurt last month of felon in possession of a firearm for five firearms he possessed while target shooting with a white supremacist, David Johnathan Udseth, in August 2010, according to court documents.

Kurt told jurors he spoke of a racist plan with Udseth only to infiltrate the group because its members had assaulted a friend, and he wanted to monitor them. He denies being a white supremacist, said his lawyer, Richard Wall.

Kurt alleges Udseth and the FBI entrapped him, but Judge Wm. Fremming Nielsen ruled not reasonable person would believe that prohibited jurors from considering the entrapment defense during deliberations.

Wall expects Kurt will appeal his conviction.

“If he had given that instruction the jury would have acquitted him,” Wall said. “Without the entrapment instruction the only thing they could do was convict him because there was no question he was in possession of the weapons at one point.”

Kurt was arrested on Aug. 30, 2010. He was considered such a risk that the FBI didn’t give him a chance to surrender - an agent ran up and tackled him. He faces up to 10 years in prison at his sentencing, which is scheduled for Jan. 26.

Now he faces new charges of aggravated identity theft, two counts of unlawful production of an identification card, two counts of unlawful possession of an identification card and one count of making a false statement under a grand jury indictment filed Wednesday. The charges carry up to 15 years in prison.

Kurt was a member of a racist group led by Keegan VanTuyl, 29, (right) who was released from federal prison last week after serving time for violation his probation on a firearms conviction.

Kurt was recruited into the group in late December 2008 after exchanging a racist greeting with key member Daniel “Church” Wilson (left) when encountering him and other group members in downtown Spokane, according to the trial briefing. The group “routinely traveled around Spokane looking for minorities to bait into a verbal and/or physical altercation, a practice referred to by group members as “coon hunting.”“

 Kurt was asked to become the leader of the group after VanTuyl and Wilson were imprisoned, but the group instead disbanded, prosecutors say.

The jury deliberated just a few hours Oct. 21 before convicting Kurt, who has been in jail since his arrest. The conviction is the latest for a convicted currency counterfeiter whose experience with the criminal justice system dates back to at least 1988, when he was acquitted of murder in Snohomish County.

Udseth was sentenced to three years probation Wednesday in U.S. District Court for manufacture of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana in relation to 90 plants and six pounds of harvested pot found during a search at his home in May.

Udseth said he had a medical marijuana card, according to his plea agreement, but such a card only authorizes 15 marijuana plants and a pound and a half of marijuana, and federal law doesn't recognize medical marijuana.

New gun charge for white supremacist

A white supremacist arrested on gun charges last year has been indicted on a new charge related to additional firearms.

Wayde Lynn Kurt, 53, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to being a felon in possession of a firearm for allegedly possessing five firearms on Aug. 21, 2010. Court documents say he's expected to argue at trial that he was entrapped by an FBI informant.

The charge carries up to 10 years in prison. Kurt, who appeared in U.S. District Court Tuesday with long hair and a shaggy beard, has been in the Spoakne County Jail since last August on a felon in possession charge related to three guns; the new, superseding charge comes as prosecutors are preparing for trial next month.

The guns belonged to a confidential informant who was targeting shooting with Kurt on the informant's property. Kurt also brought two of his own firearms to the property, prosecutors say.

Spokane-area investigators believe Kurt, a convicted currency counterfeiter, used fraudulent identities to obtain guns and ammunition. He was considered such a flight risk that the FBI didn't give him a chance to surrender last August - an agent simply ran up and tackled him.

Defense attorneys are expected to argue at trial that Kurt was entrapped by the informant.

Prosecutors have filed documents asking for defense testimony regarding entrapment be limited, pointing to what they imply was Kurt's predisposition to commit the crime. Prosecutors are objecting to a request from the defens to close the courtroom for the testimony of two witnesses, whom reportedly fear retaliation from Kurt's violent white supremacist group, the Vanguard Kindred.

Kurt and the informant left the group in 2009 or 2010, accoridng to court documents.

The informant began working with the FBI in February 2010 as part of an ongoing investigation into the group, documents say.

Prosecutors say the informant recorded Kurt talking about his firearms and plans for improvement.

A judge has not yet ruled on the prosecution's motion to limit defense entrapment testimony.

Past coverage:

Sept. 3: Supremacist with assault rifles to stay jailed

Sept. 1: FBI raid targets man with white supremacist ties

Racist leader resentenced in Spokane

A white supremacist imprisoned for violating his federal probation was resentenced in Spokane recently after prosecutors acknowledged a language glitch in the original judgment.

Keegan C. Van Tuyl, 28, (left) is in the Spokane County Jail awaiting transport to federal prison after he was sentenced to two years in prison - the same sentence handed down a year ago but vacated after Van Tuyl called a probation condition that prohibited him from associating with “Neo-Nazi/white supremacist affiliates unconstitutionally overboard,” according to a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals memorandum filed in October.

Federal prosecutors agreed that the judgment “should be changed to explicitly reflect that the condition prohibits association with known neo-Nazi/white supremacist affiliates,” according to the memo.

Van Tuyl, the son of former Central American missionaries, was transferred from federal prison to the jail on Dec. 14 and sentenced again in U.S. District Court in Spokane on Jan. 14.

He's already served three years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm but was rearrested after court officials learned he'd contacted white supremacists and left the state to attend a skinhead meeting in North Idaho in the summer of 2009.

Van Tuyl co-founded two Odinist-skinhead groups, Vangard Kindred and Valhalla-Bound Skinheads, while in prison and recruited members there, according to court testimony.

At Van Tuyl's probation revocation hearing in January 2010, Jacob Wilson, of Coeur d'Alene, described racists activities he, Van Tuyl and other skinheads committed , including maliciously harassing or assaulting African Americans and spraying racist graffiti.

Van Tuyl has been linked to a white supremacist arrested last summer on federal weapons charges, Wayde Lynn Kurt (right).

Spokane- area investigators believes Kurt, a convicted currency counterfeiter, used fraudulent identities to obtain guns and ammunition.

Kurt is considered such a flight risk that the FBI didn't give him a chance to surrender last August - an agent simply ran up and tackled him.

Kurt has pleaded not guilty to weapons charges and is in the Spokane County Jail waiting trial.

Supremacist w/ assault rifles to stay jailed

A judge today ordered a white supremacist and convicted felon charged with unlawfully possessing two assault rifles and a handgun to stay in custody pending trial.  

Wayde Lynn Kurt, 52, also is suspected of using counterfeit identification cards to obtain a post office box and order merchandise from a gun store. He’s been in Spokane County Jail since his arrest on Monday.

Now he’ll stay there without bail after U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Imbrogno ruled he was a flight risk and a danger to the community because of his history of failing to show up for court and disobeying court orders.

 Assistant U.S Attorney Earl Hicks described Kurt as a “known white supremacist” and “perpetual criminal” when arguing for Kurt’s detainment Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Kurt’s arrest is the latest for a convicted currency counterfeiter whose experience with the criminal justice system dates back to at least 1988, when he was acquitted of murder in Snohomish County.

Kurt was under investigation for counterfeiting when he removed a government tracking device from his car in 2004, then hid it in a storage unit he’d rented under a fake identification, Hicks said. Federal agents searched his home that year and found dozens of counterfeit social security cards, drivers licences and employment cards (pictured.)

Kurt is considered such a flight risk that the FBI didn’t give him a chance to surrender Monday - an agent ran up and tackled him. Read more in the past coverage:

Sept 3: Detention sought in supremacist’s weapons case

Sept. 1: FBI raid targets man with white supremacist ties

FBI raid targets man with skinhead ties

A felon who attracted federal attention for his contact with a jailed white supremacist leader is part of an ongoing investigation that includes a series of raids at Spokane County locations Tuesday.

Wayde Lynn Kurt, 52, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to a federal weapons charge alleging he unlawfully possessed two assault rifles and a handgun as a felon on Aug. 21. He’s due back in court Thursday.

Kurt was arrested Monday in an investigation authorities with the FBI declined to discuss.U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Imbrogno warned Kurt Tuesday against improper use of the jail phone after Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Hicks said a man tried removing evidence from a property being searched by the FBI after Kurt called him from jail.

Read my full story here.

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Sirens & Gavels.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here