On October 14, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) launched a raid on a remote piece of land outside Ash Fork, Arizona, to arrest white supremacist Kirby Kehoe and his son, Cheyne, on weapons charges.
The two Kehoes, both convicted felons, allegedly possessed around 20-30 firearms, including assault weapons, rifles, and handguns, as well as thousands of rounds of ammunition. Cheyne Kehoe was also allegedly in possession of body armor, also prohibited.
The Kehoes were among the most notorious of the white supremacist terrorists of the 1990s. In the late 1990s, both Kirby and Cheyne Kehoe were members of a domestic terror cell led by Chevie Kehoe, the eldest son of Kirby. While pursuing the grandiose dream of creating an “Aryan People’s Republic,” the Kehoes and other cell members murdered five people, including an eight-year-old girl, engaged in shootouts with police, committed armed robberies, and allegedly planted a bomb at the city hall building of Spokane, Washington.
Chevie Kehoe eventually received multiple life sentences for his role in the violent acts, while another member, Daniel Lee, received a death sentence. Cheyne Kehoe received a 24-year sentence that was later reduced to 11 years for cooperation, while Kirby Kehoe received a 51-month sentence.
Kirby Kehoe, who lived in the Pacific Northwest in the 1990s, purchased land in Arizona in early 2013, to which he and some other members of his large family moved. The ATF investigation stemmed from an earlier encounter between Cheyne Kehoe and local law enforcement officers in early September. In this incident, authorities arrested Cheyne on charges of domestic violence-related unlawful imprisonment, possession of drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct, impersonating a police officer, and assault/touching (knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke such person).
The investigation is ongoing and further arrests are possible.