A federal racketeering indictment is expected today against a former Spokane area man who investigators say formed a small army of white revolutionaries.
The indictment will link 24-year-old Chevie Kehoe and his group, the Aryan People’s Republic, to kidnapping, robberies and at least five murders.
Two of the killings occurred in North Idaho, investigators say.
Other conspirators expected to be indicted are Danny Lewis Lee, 24, formerly of Spokane, and Faron E. Lovelace, 40, a convicted murderer who’s in jail in Sandpoint.
Federal prosecutors are expected to seek the death penalty. The case is being brought in Arkansas because three of the murders occurred there.
The federal grand jury has met for more than a year and reconvened on Tuesday.
Almost two dozen people from Spokane, North Idaho and Eastern Washington have been subpoenaed before the grand jury in Little Rock to testify about Kehoe and his associates.
Investigators have used those sessions to trace the coast-to-coast travels and alleged crimes of the group.
Federal prosecutors wouldn’t comment on the case Thursday but said U.S. Attorney Paula J. Casey has scheduled a press conference today. The topic of the press conference wasn’t disclosed.
Kehoe, Lee and Lovelace have ties to the Aryan Nations in North Idaho or Elohim City in Oklahoma, two notorious meeting grounds for racists and white separatists.
The case also involves several unindicted co-conspirators, including Kehoe’s father, Kirby K. Kehoe, 49, who lives in Yaak, Mont., and his brother, Cheyne Kehoe, 21, sources say.
Chevie Kehoe is in an Ohio jail awaiting trial on state charges of trying to murder a police officer. He also faces state murder charges in the deaths of Arkansas gun dealer William Mueller, his wife and stepdaughter.
Chevie and Cheyne Kehoe are accused of shooting their way out of a confrontation with Ohio police in February. The gunbattle was captured on a police officer’s video camera.
Authorities say the Kehoes holed up in Utah after the shootout.
A major break in the racketeering case came after Cheyne Kehoe left his brother in Utah and surrendered to the Stevens County sheriff on June 16.
Chevie Kehoe was arrested the following day.
Lee is in jail in Russellville, Ark., also facing murder charges for the Mueller deaths.
Lovelace is scheduled to be sentenced next week in Bonner County for murdering Jeremy Scott, a white supremacist who investigators say was suspected of talking too much about various crimes.
The racketeering case is expected to include the Arkansas and North Idaho killings.
Investigators believe the Aryan People’s Republic also is responsible for the disappearance of a man recruited by the group. John Cox disappeared after he began writing letters about the group’s activities. His body hasn’t been found.
The indictment also will include the June, 12, 1995, robbery and kidnapping of Colville business owners Malcolm and Jill Friedman, sources say.
The federal investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms began in June 1996, after a woman fishing in an Arkansas bayou reeled in part of a human leg.
The bodies of Mueller, his wife and his 8-year-old stepdaughter were recovered from the bayou. They had been handcuffed and suffocated with plastic bags placed over their heads.
Robbery was the apparent motive for the killings, according to ATF agents.
Firearms taken from Mueller were brought to the Spokane area and stored in what became a huge munitions bunker for Chevie Kehoe and his associates.
The weapons were kept last year in a large garage at The Shadows Motel and RV Park at 9025 N. Division, then sold at gun shows in Spokane, Seattle and elsewhere.
Chevie Kehoe has been associated with the Aryan Nations and Elohim City, and practiced polygamy. He had two wives for a time in 1993 - one a young Spokane woman just out of Mead High School.
Investigators familiar with the case say Chevie Kehoe had become fascinated with Robert Mathews, a neo-Nazi who led a violent racist group called The Order before his death 13 years ago.
Mathews lived in Metaline Falls, Wash., when he began recruiting followers at the Aryan Nations church near Hayden Lake, Idaho.
Members of The Order traveled to Denver in June 1984, where they gunned down Jewish radio-show personality Alan Berg.
Other members of the group killed fellow recruit Walter West, who was shot and buried, apparently somewhere in North Idaho or Eastern Washington. His body was never found.
The indictment against Chevie Kehoe is expected to allege that he hoped to learn from the mistakes that eventually led to the capture in 1985 of two dozen members of The Order.
Mathews died in a gunbattle with federal agents on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound.
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