White supremacists in Florida charged with criminal conspiracy and committing hate crimes


PUBLISHED: 14:18 EST, 8 May 2012 UPDATED: 14:40 EST, 8 May 2012


  • All ten members of American Front are charged with criminal conspiracy and committing hate crimes
  • Two are also accused of giving paramilitary weapons training, which was meant to fight the government.
  • Group allegedly planned to manufacture ricin, a weapon of mass destruction
  • Bust is reportedly part of a larger federal investigation of hate groups in central Florida

The white supremacists rounded up in central Florida over the weekend were stockpiling weapons and training for a ‘coming race war,’ where they planned to kill minorities, immigrants and Jews, according to authorities. 

Court documents reveal the ten members of American Front were preparing to become active again and recapture media attention, possibly with an assault on Orlando City Hall, in an effort to attract new recruits. 

They were also allegedly planning to manufacture the deadly toxin ricin, which the government considers a weapon of mass destruction. 

Marcus FaellaPatricia Faella
‘Racist skinheads’: Marcus Faella, 39, and his wife Patricia, 36, are both leaders of the St Cloud, Florida, chapter of American Front, which is a violent skinhead organization 


Mark McGowanJennifer McGowan
Take up arms: Mark McGowan, 29, also a leader of the group, and his wife Jennifer, 25, are both charged with offering illegal paramilitary training

According to court documents obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, the St Cloud chapter of American Front, deemed a ‘racist skinhead group’ by the Anti-Defamation League, made a base at the secluded home of leaders Marcus and Patricia Faella. 

On the Faella’s ‘Aryan Compound’ in rural Osceola County, five miles from the nearest paved road, the white supremacists trained with AK-47s and other weapons during ‘mandatory’ practice sessions. 

Marcus Faella allegedly told his followers to picture the heads of black people as they fired at targets.

Last summer, a member of the US National Guard, who was in a Missouri chapter of American Front, visited the group in Florida for hand-to-hand combat training and instruction on fighting with knives, the Sentinel reported.

Faella believed there was an inevitable race war coming and he saw American Front as being the protectors of the ‘white race.’ And he wanted to be ready. 

He fortified his compound with railroad timbers, cement pilings and barbed wire. He cut gun-ports in the sides of his trailer so he and others stick their rifles through. He and the other members stockpiled weapons and ammunition and military MREs — ‘meals ready-to-eat.’

Kent Ryan MclellanDiane Stevens
Marked: Many members of American Front have tattoos signifying their allegiance to the white power movement. Kent McLellan, 22, (left) has facial tattoos. A swastika is visible on Diane Stevens, 28 (right)


Christopher BrooksRichard 'Swamp Nazi' Stockdale
Newest suspects: Christopher Brooks, 27, (left) was arrested Monday. His friend, Richard ‘Swamp Nazi’ Stockdale (right), 24, was picked up by police a short time later

Some of his followers carried sharpened screwdrivers as weapons — deadly in a fight, but wouldn’t get them arrested if they were stopped by the police, according to authorities. 

Faella believed he and his white-power followers had been too quiet for too long and they were planning to recapture headlines and leap back into public attention. 

One of the ways he planned to do this, and attract new recruits in the process, was to start a ‘disturbance’ at Orlando City Hall. It’s unclear what kind of action the group was planning. 

When pro-labor union groups came out for the May Day protests May 1, the group planned a counter-protest and made signs that were designed to double as weapons. It is unknown whether American Front actually attended the counter-protest. 

In all, ten members of the group have been arrested on charges of criminal conspiracy and committing hate crimes. 

Paul Jackson, 25Dustin Perry, 21
‘Coming race war’: Paul Jackson, 25, (left) and Dustin Perry, 21, (right) are allegedly two of the foot soldiers in the American Front organization

Marcus and Patricia Faella, age 39 and 36, were released after posting $1 million in combined bail. 

Mark McGowan, 29, is the treasurer for American Front. He and his wife, Jennifer, 25, face additional charges of offering paramilitary weapons training, knowing the new skills were likely to be used to fight the government.

The others arrested over the weekend and on Monday were: Diane Stevens, 28, Kent McLellan, 22, Paul Jackson, 25, Christopher Brooks, 27, Dustin Perry, 21, and Richard ‘Swamp Nazi’ Stockdale, 24.

The arrests over the weekend were the second wave of busts in a major FBI investigation of white supremacist groups in central Florida, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported. 

All of them belong to American Front in St Cloud, Florida, an organization that bills its mission as ‘religious and cultural preservation of the European people,’ according to the Sentinel

But the Anti-Defamation league calls American Front ‘a racist skinhead group’ that has long been involved in violent crimes against Jews, immigrants and other minorities.

Prosecutors took it even farther, saying it is a ‘domestic terror group.’

All of the members were charged with committing a hate crime and criminal conspiracy. 

Marcus Faella has a long history in white supremacist groups in Florida. In the early 1990s, he was a member of another racist group, the Confederate Hammerskins, and was the head of the chapter in Melbourne, Florida. 

In March, authorities arrested six people in Orlando who were members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club and the 1st SS Kavallerie Brigade Motorcycle Division, also a white supremacist group. 

Police say those six people were plotting to blow up buildings and attack their enemies.

Authorities told the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, that the March arrests and the bust this weekend are linked to the same investigation.


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