FBI raids linked to suspect with supremacist ties
Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation are searching several locations in Spokane County today in two cases.
Frank Harrill, agent in charge for the FBI’s Spokane office, declined to offer details but said one case involves Wayde Lynn Kurt, a 52-year-old convicted felon arrested Monday for illegally possessing a firearm.
Kurt drew federal attention last year after authorities learned he’d been in contact with a white supremacist leader despite being ordered by a judge to refrain from meeting with other felons. Now he’s accused of unlawfully possessing a 9mm handgun, an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and an AK-47 semiautomatic rifle on Aug. 21, according to an indictment in U.S. District Court. He was booked into the Spokane County Jail Monday at 9:26 p.m.
Harrill declined to discuss the case and said he doesn’t expect further details to be released today.
“We’re fairly static in what we’re going to be able to release today,” he said.
Kurt was sentenced in October 2004 to 18 months in prison and three years probation for theft of government property. In April 2009, he was found in violation of probation for contacting a convicted felon without his probation officer’s permission.
That felon, Keegan Van Tuyl, is a white supremacist whose parole was revoked in January after federal prosecutors said he’d violated his release conditions by contacting white supremacists and leaving the state to attend a skinhead meeting in North Idaho.
Van Tuyl cofounded two Odinist-skinhead groups, Vangard Kindred and Valhalla-Bound Skinheads, while in federal prison, where he recruited members.
Van Tuyl and other members of the groups were involved in several racist activities in 2008 and 2009 in the Spokane area and North Idaho, federal prosecutors said at his January court hearing.
Kurt’s connection to Van Tuyl isn’t clear. Court documents filed April 16, 2009, say the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office recorded a phone call Van Tuyl, a jail inmate, had with Kurt on April 3, 2009. Kurt acknowledged speaking to Van Tuyl and said he knew he didn’t have permission to speak with him.
“As an intermediate sanction, the undersigned officer verbally reprimanded Mr. Kurt and again directed him to not associate with Mr. Van Tuyl,” according to a report by U.S. Probation Officer Samuel Najera. “Mr. Kurt acknowledged this directive and stated he would not be associating with Mr. Van Tuyl anymore.”