JACKSON, Tenn. – A federal jury convicted a white supremacist Thursday of attempting to acquire chemical weapons and explosives to destroy government buildings.
In tapes recorded by an undercover agent and played at his trial, Demetrius Van Crocker said that he dreamed of setting off a dirty bomb at the U.S. Capitol and that he wanted a helicopter license so he could bomb black neighborhoods or spray them with poison gas.
Van Crocker, a farmhand from McKenzie, Miss., was arrested in 2004 after the FBI agent, posing as an employee of the Pine Bluff Arsenal in Arkansas, gave him a water-filled Sarin gas canister and a small quantity of C-4 plastic explosives.
Sarin, a nerve gas, is considered one of the world’s deadliest chemical agents.
The jury heard several hours of the secretly recorded tapes, in which Crocker used racial slurs besides making terroristic threats against the government.
Crocker became involved with neo-Nazi groups as a teen in rural west Tennessee, according to testimony. His anti-government rants attracted the attention of an informant, who contacted state and federal authorities.
Crocker, a 40-year-old divorced father of two, was convicted on five counts and faces up to life in prison. His sentencing was set for July 13.