Inside a heavily fortified compound in rural Osceola County, Florida, a well-armed group of white supremacists lead by 39-year-old Marcus Faella held regular paramilitary drills where they pretended to shoot black victims, talked about attacking Orlando's city hall and even discussed obtaining ricin -- a potentially deadly poison.
So says the FBI, which arrested Faella, his wife, Patricia, and six of his followers in a local branch of the American Front organization yesterday. The group was planning for an all-out race war, the feds say.
Starting in November 2010, Faella began building an "Aryan compound" in Osceola County, the FBI says. In the two years since, he'd managed to fortify the area with cement pilings, railroad ties and barbed wire while stockpiling a mass of weapons and food.
Faella had a long history of violent racial plots in the Sunshine State.
"We've been aware of Marcus Faella since 1993 when he was a member of the Confederate Hammerskins, a violent skinhead group, and head of the Melbourne chapter," Southern Poverty Law Center spokesman Mark Potok tells the Orlando Sentinel.
Faella seemed closer than ever to action this time. In addition to the weapons cache, his group had an active member of the Missouri National Guard who also belonged to American Front travel to Osceola County to train them in military maneuvers.
In recent months, he'd talked about attacking Orlando City Hall and retaliating against and anti-racist skinhead group in the area.
In addition to Faella and his wife, the feds arrested Paul Jackson, Jennifer and Mark McGowan, Kent McLellan and Diane Stevens.
Here's the rest of his crew:
via Osceola County Sheriff's Office
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In case you think Faella was a lone nutjob in Florida, don't miss the impassioned discussion at Stormfront.org -- the Florida-based racist message board where Faella's group was heavily active. Members are already decrying the arrests as a "federal plot."