TRENTON, N.J. — Two ex-convicts with ties to hate groups, including one in Illinois, were arrested after giving a police informant 60 pounds of fertilizer and asking him to build a bomb, authorities said.
The fertilizer was the same type used by Timothy McVeigh in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, according to court records, although the bomb would have been far smaller than McVeigh’s. Authorities said they were uncertain where the bomb would have been used.
Gabriel Carafa, 24, and Craig Orler, 28, were arrested Friday on federal weapons charges following a six-month investigation. The two also sold 10 stolen rifles and shotguns and one handgun to undercover officers, prosecutors said.
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Prosecutors said Carafa is a leader in the Church of the Creator, whose head, East Peoria, Ill. native Matthew Hale, was sentenced in April to 40 years in prison for plotting to kill U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow. Both men are also members of a skinhead group, officials said.
Carafa was previously convicted of beating a Hindu store owner in 2002. Orler has been convicted at least three times of aggravated assault and burglary, prosecutors said.
They each face 15 years to life in prison if convicted on the new charges.
Hale’s group came under suspicion after Lefkow on Feb. 28 found her husband and 89-year-old mother shot and killed in the family’s Chicago home. The assailant later was found to be a disgruntled man whose medical malpractice lawsuit had been dismissed by several judges. The man killed himself less than two weeks later.