(CBS/AP) ORLANDO, Fla. - In the past week, seven men and three women with ties to what Florida law enforcement officials called a white supremacist and domestic terrorist organization have been arrested on felony conspiracy and hate crime charges in an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force operation.
According to an affidavit obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, police say the suspects were planning for "inevitable" race war and were targeting Orlando City Hall and other locations. They also allegedly discussed making ricin, a deadly poison which the affidavit describes as "a weapon of mass destruction."
Authorities arrested 39-year-old Marcus Faella, and wife 36-year-old Patricia Faella, on Friday, along with Mark McGowan, 29, and his wife Jennifer McGowan, 25. Others arrested and taken to the Osceola County Jail were 28-year-old Diane Stevens, 25-year-old Paul Jackson and 22-year-old Kent McLellan. Authorities also arrested 27-year-old Christopher Brooks, 21-year-old Dustin Perry and 23-year-old Richard Stockdale late Monday.
Faella considered himself and his fellow members of the white-supremacist group American Front as "protectors of the white race," according to the affidavit obtained by the newspaper. Police say the group trained with AK-47s and hand-to-hand combat and planned to kill Jews, immigrants and minorities.
Each was charged with paramilitary training, attempt to shoot into an occupied dwelling and evidence of prejudices while committing offense, a first-degree felony. Brooks and Stockdale were also charged with possession of a weapon or ammunition by a convicted felon.
"This investigation is a result of our on-going partnership with local law enforcement and federal agencies in a concentrated effort to stamp out hate crime in our community," State Attorney Lawson Lamar said in a statement obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.
All were held on bonds totaling more than $500,000. Only Marcus and Patricia Faella had bonded out on Monday afternoon.