Federal investigators also are examining charges that he gave an informant an explosive compound.
A leader of a South Jersey white-supremacist group pleaded guilty in federal court in Camden yesterday to selling 11 stolen guns to an informant.
Gabriel Carafa, 25, also had been under investigation on allegations that he gave the informant 60 pounds of the explosive compound urea and asked him to make a bomb. According to court documents, Carafa bragged that the urea – normally a fertilizer – was the material used by Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
State and federal authorities have said they do not know why Carafa allegedly wanted the bomb; investigators moved quickly to arrest him and another man on gun charges before a plot could unfold.
The urea was not mentioned at yesterday’s plea hearing. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Richardson said the investigation was continuing.
At the time of his arrest, Carafa, 25, lived in Pennsville, N.J., with codefendent Craig Orler. He said in court yesterday that the two had met in the Ocean County jail.
Orler’s case is pending.
Authorities have described Carafa as a leader in the World Church of the Creator – now known as the Creativity Movement – and a skinhead group called the Hated.
His body is covered in white-supremacist tattoos, including one on his forehead that reads “Rahowa,” which is short for “racial holy war.” The term is a battle cry for the Creativity Movement, whose leader, Matthew Hale, was sentenced last year to 40 years in prison for plotting to kill a Chicago federal judge.
U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler asked Carafa yesterday whether he was a member of the Hated. Carafa said he was.
“Is that what you have on your forehead?” Kugler asked.
Federal guidelines call for Carafa to face about 12 to 15 years in prison. Sentencing was scheduled for Aug. 10.
The state Division of Criminal Justice’s Office of Bias Crime originally investigated the case, but the defendents were handed over to the federal system, where the penalties for gun crimes are stiffer.
Carafa was convicted of a hate crime in Ocean County in 2002 for beating a Hindu store owner. Authorities said he also was among a group of men who attacked Mexican workers with baseball bats and rocks.
The guns he sold to the informant, whom he believed to be a skinhead, had been stolen. They included shotguns, long rifles, and a .32-caliber revolver.
“We are pleased that this dangerous criminal is going to prison,” state Attorney General Zulima V. Farber said. “This defendant’s violent strain of racism and his access to firearms made him a grave threat to our communities.”