Tennessee Man Arrested on Chemical Weapons Charges

  • November 1, 2004

Federal authorities in Tennessee arrested a man for allegedly attempting to acquire chemical weapons, explosives and weapons of mass destruction in order to attack government buildings. 

After a seven month investigation, Demetrius Van Crocker, 39, a farmhand from McKenzie, Tennessee, was arrested in Jackson on October 25, 2004, for trying to obtain what he believed were ingredients for sarin nerve gas and C-4 explosives from an undercover agent, according to a federal complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

According to the arrest affidavit, an undercover federal agent was introduced to Crocker by a cooperating witness.  Crocker told the agent that he hates Jewish people, admires Adolf Hitler and that creating a concentration camp for Jewish insurance executives “would be a desirable endeavor.”  Local officials familiar with Crocker said that in the 1980s Crocker had been involved with a white supremacist group.

Crocker also told the agent that “it would be a good thing if somebody could detonate some sort of weapon of mass destruction on Washington D.C., while both the U.S. Congress and Senate were in session.” 

During their conversations, Crocker reportedly admitted to having once made mustard gas, another chemical weapon, in the past, as well as the explosive nitroglycerin.  The affidavit also alleges that Crocker admitted to possessing an AK-47 and other weapons and would kill law enforcement officers who tried to take his weapons away.

Crocker is charged with attempting to obtain chemical weapons, attempting to receive explosives in interstate commerce with the intent to damage and destroy a building and real property, and receiving stolen explosives.  He faces over 20 years in prison and $750,000 in fines.

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