Feds grab him at compound in North Georgia
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mar. 11, 2003
By BILL RANKIN, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A former leader of a white supremacist group is being held on weapons charges after dozens of federal agents descended on his isolated Dahlonega home to arrest him over the weekend.
Chester James Doles, once a local organizer of the National Alliance and a longtime Ku Klux Klan activist, will remain in federal custody at least until Wednesday, when prosecutors will ask that he be detained until trial. Doles was charged with being a felon who illegally possessed a number of rifles and handguns.
Doles, 42, will plead not guilty and ask to be released on bail, his lawyer, David Trainor, said. During a brief hearing, Trainor asked U.S. Magistrate Linda Walker to segregate Doles from the general prison population because of his ties to the Hillsboro, W.Va.-based separatist group.
“I think it can pose a serious threat to him,” Trainor said. “I’m afraid for his safety.”
Walker said she would make the request to U.S. Marshals officials.
After the hearing, Doles, who has a swastika tattooed on his wrist, embraced his wife before being taken back into custody. The National Alliance has advocated the establishment of all-white “living areas” in the United States and other Western nations.
According to a federal search warrant unsealed Monday, an informant who has been cooperating for two years with federal authorities helped in bringing the charges against Doles. The informant, whose identity was not disclosed, attended monthly National Alliance meetings with Doles at his fenced-in complex in Lumpkin County, the warrant said.
The informant told authorities he saw Doles wearing a pistol on some occasions. Last month, Doles told the informant he had a rifle in his closet and had buried nine other guns in the ground “but could get to them quickly if he needed them,” the warrant said.
Doles was convicted in a 1993 assault on an interracial couple in Elkton, Md., and was sentenced to seven years in prison. In 1997, he pleaded guilty to a burglary offense and was sentenced to three years in prison but placed on probation.
Trainor said he expects to attack the charges against Doles, saying those offenses are not felonies in Maryland.
But in December 1997, Doles signed a court order advising him of a federal law prohibiting offenders from possessing a firearm if they have been convicted in a state court where they could have been sentenced to more than two years in prison, the federal search warrant said.