Members and Associates of White Supremacist Group Charged with Making Grenades, Selling Guns
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 22, 2010|
Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned a seven-count indictment charging five individuals with conspiracy and firearms offenses stemming from an alleged attempt to sell firearms and explosive grenades to a white supremacist group located outside of Connecticut.
Charged in the indictment are KENNETH ZRALLACK, 29, of Ansonia, the leader of the Connecticut White Wolves, a self-described white supremacist group now known as Battalion 14; ALEXANDER DeFELICE, 32, of Milford, and WILLIAM R. BOLTON, 31, of Stratford, both members of the Connecticut White Wolves/Battalion 14; EDWIN T. WESTMORELAND, 27 of Stratford, who is alleged to have participated in some of the activities of the Connecticut White Wolves/Battalion 14; and DAVID SUTTON, 46, of Milford, an associate of DeFELICE.
The indictment identifies an individual (“WITNESS A”), who participated in meetings and activities of the Connecticut White Wolves/Battalion 14, and who identified himself as a convicted felon and as a member of an out-of-state white supremacist group that had an interest in obtaining firearms.
The first count of the indictment charges DeFELICE and BOLTON with conspiracy to rob an individual of firearms. The indictment alleges that DeFELICE knew that this individual manufactured firearms at his Naugatuck Valley residence from parts he had obtained by ordering them over the internet, and that he maintained a large firearms inventory worth several hundred thousand dollars at his residence. It is alleged that DeFELICE and BOLTON devised a plan to break and enter the individual’s residence and rob him of his inventory, and that DEFELICE described the burglary and robbery plan to WITNESS A, asked WITNESS A to serve as a lookout and provided him with instructions how to perform the role. On approximately January 31, 2009, DeFELICE and BOLTON enlisted WITNESS A to drive them past the Naugatuck Valley residence as part of the planning for the robbery. The indictment does not allege that the planned robbery occurred.
A subsequent count in the indictment charges ZRALLACK, DeFELICE, WESTMORELAND and SUTTON with conspiring to transfer rifles and shotguns to WITNESS A, and to make and transfer explosive grenades to WITNESS A. The indictment alleges that, on multiple occasions between November 2009 through January 2010, WITNESS A advised ZRALLACK that WITNESS A had purchased, and had plans to purchase, from DeFELICE various items including bulletproof vests, firearms and explosive grenades. ZRALLACK and WITNESS A agreed that part of the proceeds of these transactions should be conveyed to ZRALLACK.
As part of this conspiracy, the indictment alleges that, on November 11, 2009, DeFELICE and WESTMORELAND sold a .22 caliber rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun to WITNESS A.
The indictment further alleges that, in late December 2009, DeFELICE, SUTTON and WITNESS A shopped at an auto parts store in Milford for tools needed to make explosive grenades. The indictment alleges that, on January 23, 2010, DeFELICE, WESTMORELAND and WITNESS A met at DeFELICE’s Milford residence where DeFELICE and WESTMORELAND extracted and gathered up explosive powder from a large number of live shotgun shells for the purpose of assembling the explosive grenades. DeFELICE and WESTMORELAND then accepted cash payment from WITNESS A for the three, almost-completed explosive grenades. DeFELICE telephoned ZRALLACK to report that he would have cash ready for delivery to ZRALLACK, ending the phone call with the words “88,” which is code for “HH,” or “Heil Hitler.” DeFELICE then finished making the three explosive grenades, ordered WITNESS A to wipe all fingerprints off of them, and packed the grenades in a cardboard box marked with a hand-printed Swastika. DeFELICE then gave to WITNESS A the boxed explosive grenades and an envelope containing cash for ZRALLACK.
“The charges in this indictment allege that a group of individuals were involved in the manufacture and transfer of grenades to an out-of-state white supremacist group, the illegal sale of firearms to a convicted felon, and the planning of a gun theft,” stated U.S. Attorney Dannehy. “I want to thank the members of the JTTF for their diligent investigative work that has preceded these arrests.”
The indictment charges DeFELICE, BOLTON and WESTMORELAND with additional counts related to the illegal transfer of firearms and/or explosive grenades.
“This 18-month investigation demonstrates the FBI's commitment to combat white supremacist groups and their alleged illegal activities,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Mertz. “This Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation was a collective effort between the FBI, Connecticut State Police, Federal Air Marshals Service, United States Secret Service, United States Marshals Service, and the local police departments of Milford, Ansonia, New Haven and Stratford.”
The indictment was returned under seal on March 18. ZRALLACK, WESTMORELAND and SUTTON were arrested by members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force on Saturday morning, March 20. They appeared today before United States Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport, entered pleas of not guilty to the charges, and are detained pending a detention hearing that is scheduled for Thursday, March 25.
BOLTON, who has been serving in the United States Army in Virginia, was arrested on March 20 by the U.S. Army, Criminal Investigation Command. He will be transferred to Connecticut to be arraigned on the charges.
DeFELICE has been detained in federal custody since January 28 when he was arrested on related firearms charges.
If convicted on all counts in the indictment, DeFELICE faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 70 years, BOLTON and WESTMORELAND each faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, and ZRALLACK and SUTTON each faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
U.S. Attorney Dannehy stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Each defendant is entitled to a fair trial at which it is the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Acting U.S. Attorney Dannehy commended the joint investigation of this matter, which is being conducted by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, notably the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Connecticut State Police, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Federal Air Marshal Service, with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service; the U.S. Army, Criminal Investigation Command, and the Milford, Ansonia, Stratford and New Haven Police Departments.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Henry K. Kopel.