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Two with Ties to White Supremacy Suspected in Plot to Bomb Boston Sites

Read ADL's comprehensive report, Two with Ties to White Supremacy Suspected in Plot to Bomb Boston Sites

Police in Boston have arrested two individuals with alleged ties to white supremacist groups. Leo V. Felton, 30, and Erica Chase, 21, were indicted June 20 on federal charges of plotting to blow up property perceived to have a Jewish or African-American association in order to incite a "racial holy war."

Felton and Chase were arrested April 19, 2001 when the two fled from police after Chase allegedly attempted to pass off a counterfeit $20 bill at a donut shop in East Boston.

A subsequent investigation by law enforcement and a search of the couple’s apartment by federal officers reportedly revealed:

  • Notes on bomb-making;
  • Detailed pictures of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge, which was named in memory of the deceased former director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Boston Regional Office;
  • A calendar with April 20th (Hitler’s birthday) circled;
  • Books on terrorism and subterfuge;
  • Newspaper clippings about a planned remembrance service at the New England Holocaust Memorial.

Investigators seized writings by Felton that allegedly suggest he contemplated gunning down blacks in New York City. It was alleged in the indictment that days before his arrest in April, Felton had purchased materials that could be used to construct bombs, including a 50-pound bag of ammonium nitrate and a coffee maker from which Felton had allegedly removed the heating and timing mechanisms. Felton reportedly ordered additional bomb components from a company in Arkansas.

Felton, the son of a white mother and a black father, from whom he is purportedly estranged, was released from a New Jersey State prison in January 2001 after serving 11 years for attempting to murder a black taxi driver in New York City with a crowbar. While serving his sentence, Felton tried to slit the throats of two black inmates. Felton, who is 6’7" and 225 pounds, has an array of neo-Nazi and white supremacist tattoos that indicate possible adherence to the White Order of Thule and the Straight Edge movement.

Chase, whose body also bears neo-Nazi and white supremacist tattoos, reportedly is a member of the World Church of the Creator (WCOTC), the virulently anti-Semitic and racist hate group headed by Matt Hale, and an Indiana chapter of the Outlaw Hammerskins. She allegedly began writing to Felton in March 2000. Prison outreach is one of the roles carried out by The Sisterhood, an arm of the WCOTC, specifically designated for women. The WCOTC believes in the coming of, and necessity for, a "racial holy war."

Felton and Chase are charged with conspiring to make a destructive device, firearms violations, making and passing counterfeit currency and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Additionally, Felton is charged with attempting to receive explosive materials in interstate commerce with intent to use them in an explosive device and for illegal possesion of a handgun.

Chase was arraigned on Monday and pleaded not guilty to all charges. Felton’s arraignment was delayed until Friday, June 29, 2001. He made an apparent suicide attempt early Sunday by inflicting wounds on his arm, neck and wrists with a prison-issue razor. If convicted, Leo Felton faces a maximum of 65 years in prison while Erica Chase faces a maximum of 35 years.

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