White supremacist arrested on gun charges
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Thursday December 26, 2002
He is suspected of training neo-Nazi teens to shoot in Racine County
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 24, 2002
By GINA BARTON
A white supremacist suspected of training neo-Nazi teenagers to shoot on his Racine County farm has been arrested on federal firearms charges.
Michael Kenneth Faust, 35, was arrested after a raid early Monday at the home he shares with his grandmother in Franksville, according to the FBI. Federal agents and police officers from Racine and Caledonia seized nine firearms, including an AK-47-style assault weapon that was hidden under the steps of a staircase leading to Faust’s bedroom. They also collected several plastic bags of ammunition.
Faust, a member of the National Socialist Movement, was convicted of attempted first-degree homicide for shooting a black 14-year-old in the chest in 1990, court records show. He served eight years in prison. At the time of that crime, Faust lived in Kenosha and used the name Kenneth Michael Botsch. He changed his name upon his release from prison, but that wasn’t enough for him to circumvent the federal law that prevents convicted felons from owning guns.
The FBI first became aware of Faust’s firearms training sessions after agents interviewed a member of the National Socialist Movement, a white supremacist group, in Chicago. The man said he had stopped associating with Faust once he found out that boys as young as 13 and 14 were learning to shoot on his farm, court records show.
Informants in Illinois and Minnesota also have provided the FBI with copies of group e-mail messages that Faust is thought to have used to recruit followers into the white power movement. One of the e-mail messages included a photo of Faust, standing in front of a red flag with a swastika and holding an assault weapon.
The final piece of the puzzle came in July, when Racine police arrested a 19-year-old man on child enticement charges. The man informed police of the location of Faust’s farm, which he said he had visited 20 or 30 times. During those visits, he received training in the use of firearms, including a Colt .45 and a shotgun, the man said.
Faust was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. At an initial court appearance Monday in Milwaukee, U.S. Magistrate Judge William E. Callahan Jr. ordered him held without bond pending a hearing Friday.
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